What if our cleaner lines were gobbled-up by my pen?
What if I sketched our imperfect borders into nothing?
What if I created perfection; a blank slate?
What if I swallowed the wrong words instead?
What if I said the right thing and you stayed?
My final poem of the year, written for the final Real Toads prompt ever: PLAY IT AGAIN! with REAL TOADS, hosted by Kerry O’Connor. I chose to write to Kerry’s LET’S FIND OUR POETIC VOICE prompt and then – as a tip of the hat – to erase, clean, or “un-write my voice”, as many of the wonderful prompts here directly contributed to my poetic voice growing and stretching in ways I never imagined possible.
Thank you to everyone at Real Toads – both the hosts and the contributors – for all of your efforts, encouragement, and support. I know this isn’t goodbye, so I’ll see you all out there next year.
“But I couldn’t control my restlessness, an eagerness for violation was growing in me, I wanted to break the rules, as the entire world seemed to be breaking the rules.”
– Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, a novel by Elena Ferrante
We should forget.
It’s better this way.
I won’t divine
from rat-nested bedsheets,
We have fun.
Yeah we did.
No love misplaced,
like spilled spirits
Yet I return,
to the mistake
we never made.
Inspired by Real Toads Words To Live By, hosted for the final time by Rommy. We were asked to reflect on a word or quote that means something special to us.
Ironically, as someone who loves words, I drew a blank here. Ultimately, I settled on a quote from a book I’m currently reading (Book three of a four-book series by Elena Ferrante, collectively titled Neapolitan Novels.)
I’m kind of bummed that Real Toads is so close to ending their amazing run, so I’m trying to contribute more to their remaining prompts. It’s bittersweet, but as with most finite things within our cosmos, nothing lasts forever.
Even now, forces battle for fractions
of light and dark, air and earth, truths and lies
the spoils, ripened treasures and abstractions
like oil, our foods, as humankind’s soul cries
split to the bone in factions
honed for overreactions
My soul’s not known for overreactions
compressing, sealing night into fractions
of morbid amusement, viewing factions
through porous veneers of their willful lies
unmoved by their biased cries
on currents of abstractions
Our sun will yield to night and abstractions
leaving the void and overreactions
light evening showers won’t drown-out the cries
of justice-seekers sliced into fractions
divided by clever lies
blinded factions fight factions
I welcome rain as night deceives factions
truth is our souls are merely abstractions
these lines dividing us all are sad lies
gains of few, fueled by overreactions
many fight over fractions
immune to his brother’s cries
I remain in-tune with my brother’s cries
but turn a deaf-ear to brother’s factions
I see us whole, and not just the fractions
bellies are filled by more than abstractions
stilled by overreactions
humanity’s fate still lies
I wonder which side will win through the lies
will we have our peace or feast on war-cries?
I still observe the overreactions
blackening hearts into soulless factions
they have killed for abstractions
weighing lives by the fractions
I wonder which lies will fell the factions
silencing the cries; soulless abstractions
overreactions leaving fractions.
Written for dVerse Poetry Form: Sestina, hosted by Victoria C. Slotto. Other poets have contributed to this prompt here. The Sestina is an oily form, super-tricky to pull off, like Jello-wrestling a sexy, nude, female vampire who’s riding a velociraptor. Naturally, I had to give it a go (the poem, not the Jello-wrestling, though I’d probably be game for that too.)