Monday, December 16, 2013

Rodak's Writings: a Poetry Challenge Successfully (?) Engaged


Yesterday, a Facebook friend and fellow poet named Gail Wolper issued a poetry challenge to a set of her friends. That challenge was to compose a poem, consisting of four stanzas, in any style, based on the prompt, “earth air fire water.”  I immediately remembered that I had already written a poem with that title and went to my files to see if I could use it to meet the challenge. Upon finding the poem, it was evident that it consisted of only two stanzas. I briefly considered trying to make those two stanzas into four, but saw almost immediately that this strategy was not going to work. The original poem is here:

Earth, Air, Fire, Water

Were it all only forms

of fire-laced mineral—

creatio ex nihilo

there’d be no one at whom

to bitch—no one to please—

no one from whom

to hide…

Yet supposing one needed

to have a Whom—

My Whom I would imagine

to smell much like you

in the mounting morning


moving mimic

of the sea.

Having realized that I would either need to start from scratch and compose an entirely new poem, or would have to drastically revise the existing one, I chose the latter option.  This is what I came up with:

Earth, Air, Fire, Water

Were it all only forms

of fire-laced mineral --

creatio ex nihilo--

there’d be no one for whom

to yearn—no one to please --

no one toward whom

to strive …

The roiling clouds of dawn --

dense in their blackness --

could only vent their wet

against flanks

of enervated stone--

its mute indifference

a mockery…

The lightning flash

would ignite vast stands

of tethered timber

that sacrificed

their fragrant vapors

to a faceless void

sans appetite or nostril…

Yet posit there a lonely I

who needed to have a whom—

I would imagine that whom

to smell much like you

in the mounting morning

—tidal—moving mimic

of the Sea…

So, gentle reader – which version do you prefer?


Ron King said...

Rodak, I hope all is well with you. You have influenced me to come up with something I know nothing about--writing something poetic. So here is my submission to you. Mercy please

It is who I am
Planted in the chaos
of that first spark
In that first breath.

Feeling the weight
of that thirst of desire
To reach for what cannot be spoken
Becoming rooted is not a choice.

Motionless yet moving
Guided by senses to hide and seek
Somehow knowing
that which nurtures also destroys.

Do I dare to uproot what has grown?
To leave stagnant pools and
suffocating inversions
which I call home
Do I risk annihilation
and seek the unknown

Ron King said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I like your revised version more.

Rodak said...

Hello, Ron! Thank you so much for responding with your excellent poem! I have decided to try to revive my blog. We will see how long the resolve lasts! Again, thanks for the contribution of your wise and eloquent words!