NaPoWriMo Challenge, Day 18. The prompt “sounds a bit more complicated than it is, so bear with me! First, find a poem in a book or magazine (ideally one you are not familiar with)… [C]over everything but the last line. Now write a line of your own that completes the thought of that single line you can see, or otherwise responds to it. Now… uncover the second-to-last line of your source poem, and write the second line of your new poem to complete/respond to this second-to-last line. Keep going, uncovering and writing, until you get to the first line of your source poem, which you will complete/respond to as the last line of your new poem. It might not be a finished draft, but hopefully it at least contains the seeds of one.”
Well, it wasn’t hard to find a poem I’m not familiar with, as I’m not much of a literary reader. When I came across a poem written by Sheryl Luna and titled, “Neighbors Smoke on an Apartment Porch Owned by a Mental Health Agency,” I knew that would be perfect for this challenge. You can follow the link to read that poem.
Here’s my reverse response. I guess I’ll call it Mental Faculties.
Waiting their chance to bloom,
strength belied by failing light,
old habits won’t die today.
Rheumy eyes remove the hues.
Calm comes with slowing down.
Peeling bark, in rough contrast,
remember they once blossomed, too.
Come in to the sobering shade,
rise and heal thy pain.
It’s all relative, so we’re told
a tale of plums and prunes.
Wishing never leads the charge,
sinners peddling soulless fates.
Free to fly once weight-relieved,
yesterday’s work, today’s debris,
smoothed as with a butter knife,
carried high on joyful wings.
What’s left from those who sow and reap —
saying so won’t make it true —
forestalls, refusing to leave.
Stalwart nature, man-made trees,
far from home yet searching still,
if only one could hear.
They care more than one might think
of being heroes or villains.
Do-overs can set them free,
enlightened by the truth.