Quote

It may well be that the poet’s sorrow must be measured by the bushel, whereas that of the layman is not even great enough to be measured in pints. Perhaps, now I come to think about it, it is that since the poet is given to worrying more than the ordinary man, his senses have become much more acutely tuned. It is true that at times he experiences the most exquisite joy, but he also has far more than his fair share of immeasurable grief. Because of this, one should consider carefully before deciding to become a poet.

~Soseki

Napowrimo day 2

Today’s prompt was about stars. The problem with prompts of course is that they are uni-directional, and can’t save you if the word ‘stars’ makes you want to start writing about the things being god’s daisy chain, or comparing them to the eyes of someone you’d like to have sex with. I have managed to resist both impulses and instead make fun of the ancient Greeks.

Some time ago

When all things were considerably younger

(Excepting those things which did not yet exist at all)

The ancient Greeks

Divided (from the latin dividere, to separate)

The sky into 12 pieces

Each piece was given a name from mythology

Because the Greeks had great respect for their own stories

Leo was the lion killed by Hercules

Scorpio the scorpion sent to kill Orion

Of course, the stars did not fit precisely into such roles

(Aries, for example, was just a straight line)

But they played along and never said anything

Perhaps the problem was that the Greeks

Placed too much importance on the words of old men (with beards)

When an old philosopher as may be

Looked into the sky

And saw a ram

Where all others saw a straight line

The younger people agreed with him

Instead of fetching him a cool drink and

Letting him lie in the shade for a while

But one must appreciate the minds

Of such people

They looked into even the night sky

And saw stories

Napowrimo day 1

Napowrimo (or for those who enjoy real words, national poetry writing month) has begun. You can find daily prompts at napowrimo.net, although I think personally I shall be more interested in trying to do some writing rather than following instructions.

I have been thinking about writing for a while, but life has been quite frantic. Perhaps this month signals the start of a period of proper writing.

by process of elimination

it may be possible

to determine what I am

by gathering the discarded scraps of what I am not

the cathode fortune cookies

curled and yellowed

assembling them with paste and conjunctions

however

there are so many more things that are not

than are

I am not a blood cell

or a tangerine

I am not infallible

nor am I a coffee filter

this could go on for some time

perhaps therefore

it is wise to be positive

Kaolin

found in the ashes one day..

they say we are all clay

clay, clay and stars

ashes to ashes, dust to dust

perhaps this is just a fear

a feeling of being made of clay

a melancholia

closing in on us

a descending star

a fear of being broken

when we are brittle and inflexible

hardened clay