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Prose poem series

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:12 pm
by Tremayne
And now for something completely different . . .

A couple of years ago, I held writing workshops for a youth center. This was for kids 7-12 yrs old. One of the things I did was bring in pictures scoured from old National Geographics and have the kids make up stories from the pictures. At one point I tried to get them to write poems by pretending to be something in the picture. To my surprise, they weren't really able to make the imaginative leap. However, I found myself getting into the idea and ended up doing a bunch of them. So what follows is 22 of the 35 I wrote. I'll post about one a day or so. I'm open not only to comments on the poems themselves but also on the order in which they are presented.

In This Picture I

I am the artist repainting the saints in their gilded alcoves. Red and gold reviving the passions. I don’t know their names, who honored them or who they worshiped, but they stand upright, robed and haloed for the centuries, and I, a godless woman, am paid to renew their brilliance through my own worship--of red and gold, of all the pigments and their media. In jeans and sweatshirt, I revive the saints.

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:55 pm
by Tremayne
In This Picture II

I am the silver river threading through impossible mountains. Follow me. I will find the way out, the way down from sharp edges, the way down from the cold. Follow me and I will take you through forests to lush valleys full of iris. Follow me from granite to the wild gardens I feed. I split, I braid, I take my time wending green into a resistant land. Settle where it pleases you. Or follow me on and on.

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:35 pm
by Tremayne
In This Picture III

I am the cliffs the ocean brushes against. People say pounding but it’s nothing so dreadful to me. I am tall and hard and full of life. Green makes a home on me right down to the salty froth–and beneath: more life the ocean and I make together. I go down deep. I am bigger than the ocean, the bed of the ocean. I have centers it will never touch. People inhabit only the table land and worry that waves wear me away--but no, the ocean and I only grow continuously closer.

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:05 pm
by Tremayne
In This Picture IV

I am the festival red of the three sisters, the wild soft-shaped red splotches on their dresses, the red carnations against their dark hair, the tint of rouge on their cheeks, the red in their souls. I am the red in the dark eyes of the eldest, who sees into your deepest chambers; the red in the wide smile of the youngest, who mocks you until the world blushes; the red in the heart of the middle sister that makes you want to bow at her feet in homage. I have given them all this festival red, so much red they would be accused of murder if they weren’t so beautiful.