Summoning the Summoner
The path beyond my garden yields to both reason and whimsy,
the tiled stone becoming clouds
charting my unsteady gait towards the gates of eternal twilight,
where Nihirizumu-no-Kage summons me for reprimand.
My writing spirit is an elegant, lean feline
pacing impatiently in ethereal mist,
her fur dappled in pixelated violet, orange, fiery-red dots,
forever rearranging themselves in new patterns on the fly,
helping to camouflage herself among pastel skies
with long shadows and eerie afterglow.
She is a huntress,
built for chasing down dreams rapidly
while evading what she perceives as threats.
I am perplexed,
as she has never demanded an audience
“You didn’t heed my call,”
she accused with a hiss,
for she is incapable of roaring.
“How dare you ignore my cry? I had several tales
of love, loss, and woe chambered for you; you only needed
to present the hands to scribe fantasy into reality.”
“I cannot be at your beck and call constantly,” I countered,
“For I am mortal with responsibilities, deadlines, and
people who rely on me to be present. Besides,
I set aside blocks of time awaiting your arrival,
and you rarely visit me then. Why is that?”
“Do you blame the cherry blossom
for blooming only when it’s inconvenient?”
Nihirizumu asked. “Your favorite time of day
is the same as mine; just after sunset,
just before soft blushes become indigoes
and indigoes blend into black.
“Do you blame the sky
for only being that way twice a day,
and only in fleeting moments?
“Only in these moments can you see my beautiful wings,
which only exist to reflect and refract the light
of every sunset ever seen or missed
into every color within the spectrum of our fantasies and realities,
allowing you to see possibilities not yet conceived.”
I narrow my eyes,
glaring impatiently at my impatiently glaring,
ostentatious writing spirit.
“You are being willfully dense,
and hopelessly unreadable,” I accused, adding,
just come when I ask you,
and not when you clearly know I’m busy.”
Nihirizumu laughed, snorting pink flame from her nostrils,
her eyes, once golden sparks, now electric blue,
freezing ice crystals between her and me.
“And there you go again,” said she, “lashing out
at what you fail to comprehend.
“You like to think that you command me. But still…
I will come whenever the mood suits me.
“And next time,
I expect you to be prepared
to drop everything
and just write.”
Before I could draw breath for rebuttal,
I found myself returned to the stone path beyond my garden,
wondering if evening birdsongs were a battle hymn.
Written for NaPoWriMo Day 6 prompt:
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks. That could be a poem with very long lines, or very short lines. Or a poem that blends the two. You might break to emphasize (or de-emphasize) sounds or rhymes, or to create a moment of hesitation in the middle of a thought. Looking for inspiration? You might take a look at this poem by Lorine Niedecker, this poem by Stanley Kunitz, or this one by Amiri Baraka.
I wrote this poem as a stream-of-thought block of text with little line editing or punctuation. Then I went back and accentuated where I thought the breaks should be instead of limiting myself because a line was too long. It was quite liberating for me.
Folks familiar with my previous blog might recall me summoning my writing spirit from a previous poem. I’ve never been one to shy away from my nerd stuff.