aqua fortis

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Year's Poetry Challenge, Day Four

Let me just say that I'm really having fun trying out this poetry challenge--it's a nice change of pace for my brain. I don't know how well the "loose narrative" approach is working, but who cares? I can always string them together differently later. Yesterday's prompt was: Think of your kitchen table or your coffee table. Write an ode, a celebratory poem, about one object on your kitchen/coffee table. If your kitchen/coffee table is clear, then write about the table itself.

I picked an object on the coffee table that I then loosely interpreted, and then it turned into less of an ode and more of a something else. I also thought I would write the ode using Sapphic meter but that's also sort of loosely used, particularly in the last line of each stanza. And, again, I'm trying to write not so much from my viewpoint as that of a character I'm attempting to convey through the imagery of the poems. So, whether what "happens" in the poem is "true" is up for interpretation.


Box of paints in small metal tubes, my mustered
lineup of hues, red, orange, yellow, green, blue--
Tones of rare earth, cobalt and zinc, iron, ochre
My bright chemistry.

Unseen layers visible, dreams made too real
Fears and horrors rendered, reduced to mere brush-
strokes and lines. I have that finesse. But I can't
paint out the past.

Pink, dilute with water, I dab, then dry brush
Dark-leaved trees—the place where I sat with you, yes,
Where this painting hatched, where the colors, light, dark,
shone and became fact.

Little paint box is simply a tool, gentle spear
Tickling essence out of the mortal shell—small
beast is served to please human senses, bright splash
on taste buds, swallowed.

© Sarah J. Stevenson 2009


tanita davis said...

Hey, impressive. I like the layers of meaning - like the paint, like the idea of painting, medium and the artist as three separate but connected things. Especially like the last lines, small
beast is served to please human senses, bright splash
on taste buds, swallowed.

a. fortis said...

Thanks. :)

Just to be clear, I am not advocating that people eat paint.