Monday, February 14, 2011

Consider this... a very un-Valentine writing prompt

Barbara Ann Kipfer
Random House 2007
I bought this book while on holiday in the US a couple of years ago. It's not the kind of book you read from cover to cover. You pick it up and glance through the 8 or 10 questions it has on each double page spread, and the occasional large print single pager, and see if one catches your eye. I've noticed that sometimes one does arrest me but I move on because I feel it's asking too much of me at that moment. Cowardly? Lazy? Probably a little of both. But I don't find it easy to think deeply spontaneously. It's is if I have to be shoe-horned into it, and for that reason dinner with good friends often has the right elements - comfortable companionship, good food and wine - to ease me slowly into a stage of, I hope, intelligent reflection. Of course a discussion of beliefs and opinions can become very energetic, even over-heated, particularly when there's a decent quantity of wine around, but if there are enough of you one person is generally able to lower the temperature and pull everyone back to a level of consideration. That's not always possible with family though... at least in my experience. Maybe yours is different?

My poetry prompt for today, and a very un-Valentine one it is too but I'm going on the assumption that there's plenty of Valentine stuff already out there, is to write a poem in response to the following question:

(p. 63) What will happen to the world when you die?

Here's my spontaneous response, raw and unedited but something to work on:

What happens to the world when I die

In the movie
of my life
there’s a moment
of stillness:
a street empty
of traffic;
a cashier’s hand
hovers over
the buttons on a till;
someone looks up
through the bare branches
of a Plane tree,

and then it’s over,
a car-horn blares,
a customer asks
if avocados
are on special,
a sudden gust
forces someone
to clap their hands
against the cold
then fast-dial home
to say they won’t
be long.

How carefully
I read the credits
for myself.

Lynne Rees

I look forward to reading your poems.

Write well.