Directions: How Not to Have a Revolution

How Not to Have a Revolution

The elephant went rogue in the forest,
stepping on the ant hills,
destroying everything for the sheer pleasure of destruction.

The ants began to mobilize.
They organized a thousand little Armies of Resistance,
each with powerful leaders and Solid Plans.

Here is a Truth:
There were enough ants in the forest
to carry that old elephant away.
All their united strength and energy
could have saved the forest.

Instead, things went south
pretty much from the beginning.
The ants could not check their tribalism.
They were suspicious of all outsiders,
even (particularly) among their own kind.

On the ruined mounds of their separate anthills
they began to call, not for the removal of the elephant,
but for the annihilation of enemy tribes.
Only when enemy tribes were dealt with
would it be possible to remove the elephant, they said.

By the time the ants had dealt with their own internal battles,
the elephant had won the day,
and the forest was utterly destroyed.

(Today’s Prompt from Poetic Asides was to write a Directions Poem.)

(Blank) Sheet, a Grouchy Little Poem

<Prompt 4: (Blank) Sheet> I really did have this one finished yesterday, but I fell asleep in the recliner while I was waiting for my turn at the computer.  I am having a little more trouble trusting Mockingbird this year.  I want my poems to be just a little more polished before I post them.  I don’t want to go with first impulses, which feel flimsy and light.  Instead of trusting that writing will bring the inspiration, I am waiting around and pushing for it.  Then I get stuck.  So this poem turned into a complaint.  Here goes:

A sure-fire method to freeze the gears,
to gum up the fine workings of the Muse:

Tell the poet to write
about the Blank Sheet.

The Blank Sheet is the yawning chasm
we stare into, the poet’s dark
and treacherous Void.
It draws me in like a moth
to the challenge and the danger.

Tell me not to think about the elephant
and suddenly everywhere I see an elephant.


I need to keep reminding myself that the first time I did this, lots of days were duds.  The whole point is to keep the lines open, to keep fluid and hopeful, to begin to shape the inner work of the daily life into pieces of a poetic puzzle that fit together.  Even though something in me is cringing at my early attempts, this grouchy little poem is exactly what I needed today, even if it won’t make the chapbook.  Today’s prompt (I will try to be more prompt in execution) is a two-fer: Write a concealed poem.  Unconceal everything.

2013 November 008

Gratitude List:
1.  Pushing through
2.  Those leaves!  I feel as I if I died and went to Vermont.
3.  Rilke
4.  Elephants
5.  Endings and Beginnings: Today begins the last week of CSA shares for the 2014 season.  Now we gear up for December shares.

May we walk in Beauty.