Friday, September 23, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #79

In which Your Humble Blogger ends the "My Poetry Year" project in a most fitting setting:

"The Lichens"

Green life seemed to flourish
In the grey morning air
That swaddled the graveyard,
Especially lichens,
Plant and mold matched in blooms
That spilled from the cracked stones.

The same grey morning air
Also nourished a scream
Inside a woman's chest
Until fissures appeared
In the name of her dead,
And she both laughed and cried
As she set the scream free,
Becoming pure nature.

* * *

And that's how it ends. Six syllables per line, with a first stanza that sits a bit awkwardly -- the "Especially lichens" line doesn't seem to be a good continuation of the first three lines, which land so solidly on their own, but it's necessary for the poem. Is it the best one I've written? Nope, though I still like the lines "Until fissures appeared/In the name of her dead." And I'm sure it might seem like an abrupt note to end this project on, an odd choice as the last poem to share (even if it does deal with death).

In truth, I didn't know that the poems were going to stop. But one day back in March, I had an idea that refused to be expressed as anything but a short story. Seconds after the idea occurred to me, I knew exactly how the story began. And as scared as I was -- I had been writing poetry for almost a year! -- I found myself wanting to attempt fiction once again.

I'm actually a little excited to show you all the results of that fiction binge, even though it won't be ready for about two more months. But I've had some help getting the stories into shape, which I didn't have when I did The People He Thought He Knew, and I hope that the resulting project will be a cohesive and entertaining (if short) bundle of stories. They rest comfortably in the realm of dark, modern fantasy. In fact, you might find "The Lichens" here reflected nicely in a few of them. You'll see what I mean before the end of the year. ;) (Oh, I bet I just jinxed myself by typing that.)

Anyway, that's where "My Poetry Year" brought me: back to fiction's doorstep, hah. Who knows, maybe after the next project I'll return to the reactions to these poems and whip my poetry into the shape it should be in. In the meantime, it's the last post for this project, but the first day of fall -- a good time for change, eh? Enjoy yourself out there today. And thanks for coming along.

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