Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Poetry Challenge #20: Poetry Mini-Challenge

Before we get started, please check out the excellent dramatic monologues submitted over the last week here.

For today's challenge, I happened upon this prompt from an excellent website, and I am taking their challenge and invite you to join me. Feel free to link to your post here in a post to their website as well if you want!

You can read all about the prompt at the link above, but the gist of it is to pick a theme or subject and write one part of a poem about it per day for five days. So today I'll write the first part, tomorrow the second part, and so on until I'm finished on November 8. To avoid confusion about where to find them, though, I will just continually edit my post to add the new section each day. Here goes.

I.
They make it look so easy.
I try and try
but every time
I can't make them
really hear me.

I know
what I want to say,
but when I open my mouth,
what comes out
is unexpected.

Just once
I'd love her to hear
what I say
and do exactly
what I asked.

Small wonder
I feel like screaming
at seemingly-random times.
How would you like it
if no one could hear you?

II.
Each morning
I retreat to the bathroom,
my stomach betraying
the nerves I try not to show.

My brain is under control.
I have nothing to fear
inside the classroom.
It’s outside it I dread.

People wonder why
I hide my face
behind the cover
of a dog-eared book.

When you’re afraid
of human nature,
literature is solace
in a cruel world.

III.
On my own for the first time,
I thought I’d be okay.
I knew who I was and where
I was going.

It only took a few blows--
my roommate’s abandonment,
an insincere relationship--
to shake my foundations.

How quickly I faltered
on promises I made myself.
I had become a person
I neither knew nor liked.

But blessings came
with new humility:
my truest friends
as well as my true love.

IV.
If someone told me
just five years ago
that I would be a runner,
I would have laughed.

Now I can’t go two days
without having a run;
it’s an indispensable part
of my daily routine.

While I started slow
and still am not fast,
I just keep putting
one foot in front of the other.

Nowadays,
I just cruise along
for miles and miles,
not even breathing hard.

V.
When I first found out
you were on your way,
I wondered if I would
be good enough for you.

See, I’m the youngest.
I only even baby-sat
one time, for my nieces.
Never changed a diaper.

But when I saw your face
for the first time,
all the doubt and fear
melted entirely away.

I knew that what I didn’t know
didn’t matter at all.
What I did know
was that I love you, forever.


I have to say, I wasn't sure quite where this poem would lead me but the journey turned out to be very rewarding. Where will it take you? C'mon, join me!!

12 comments:

Matthew said...

The feelings in these are so powerful, perhaps because we've all experienced them. We have all known the fear of human nature, and you are capturing the view from that cage beautifully. And as a bookworm myself, I can relate on that particular level, as well!

Looking forward to the next three installments!

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Your final stanza gripped me by the heart. Wow. Such rich emotion!

I look forward to reading the other parts of your poem.

Matthew said...

Part III reminds me of my first year of college (and I doubt I'm the only one who'd be reminded of that very time). There's nothing like the first semester or so to force you to think harder about who you are and what you're doing.

Plus, I dealt with some health issues and met my future wife that year, so I like to think I learned some humility as well as found my true love!

Keep 'em coming!

briarcat said...

I really like the first one. Very tightly done.

third one makes me want to give old lady advice....

Anonymous said...

from Therese L. Broderick -- yes, these poems remind me of my youth decades ago. And now that I have a daughter almost 17 years old, this poem reminds me of what she may be feeling and thinking! I suggest you keep these poems and look back on them when you're my age, or when you have your own child.

Linda Jacobs said...

Oh, my, you crawled inside my head! I can't tell you how many times I've experienced what you wrote about in your first two poems! I love the way you evoked those emotions!

Linda Jacobs said...

#4: Just like living and writing! Once we get into the rhythm, it's effortless! I like how this poem makes me picture you running with a smile on your face.

briarcat said...

Love the ending of #4

Matthew said...

Oh, man, the life-changes in 4 and 5! The wonder at how we change, the worry about whether we'll be good enough...

"not even breathing hard" -- I think there's a whole poem right there somewhere!

briarcat said...

Nicely rounded up. It's good to see the person from the first two made it long enough to write the fifth. Things never do get easier, but we get more practiced.

Alicia said...

Ok, so I'm not sure if I did it 'right', but it just *felt* right. I hope you enjoy.

A too hot summer.
The sun is relentless,
But I find peace
In a small wading pool
FIlled with the garden hose
By one tiny beautiful girl.

They call it an Indian Summer
When the heat feels never-ending.
I'm content.
Soon the warm sun gives way
To cool autumn breezes
And the brightly colored leaves fall,
Almost dancing, to the ground.

And then the rain...
Rarely cold enough for snow,
But instead there is constant drizzle.
And when you can see your breath,
It's time for me
To cuddle on the couch
With my blanket, a little angel and my ever growing belly.

I'd like to say that spring will bring
Some warmer weather and drier days.
Perhaps sometimes, but maybe not at all.
For those cold wet days
Will bring back that lush green
And bloom beautiful flowers
To smell and pick with my beatuiful girl.

By the time the rain dries up
And the sun returns
There will be a new addition...
A soft sweet babe for me to cuddle,
And a little sibling for my daughter to enjoy
And the sun won't seem so relentless
And I'll learn to laugh and play
The whole day through
Despite the sweltering heat.
Because I'll have two little angels
To fill my heart.

Minerva said...

Alicia--that is exactly how you do it. I love how you worked your family and the seasons as well as the particular weather in your corner of the world. 1,000 points to you!