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Poetry Friday

Happy National Poetry Month, April 2019.


At the end of day
I sit by the fire

Under the falling darkness
as day fades and night engulfs
I think of light and warmth.
The campfire pulls me in . . .
builds a bridge from years lived
to years yet to come,
joins reflections of
vivid memories
with dreams.

Wrapped in the cloak of darkness
while day fades and night engulfs
I wish for light and warmth.
Flames of the campfire send
smoke– curling around me,
unrolling thoughts like
an ancient scroll –lifts
me upward, onward,

Swathe in a shroud of darkness
when day has faded into night
I ache for light and warmth.
Embers launch showers of
clarity and insight–
fiery sparks, arcing,
burning out or dropping
to earth, igniting
new fire.

Hope is enkindled
And a new day dawns.

© 2019 Alice Nine. All rights reserved.


Writing about my writing

The Writer’s Almanac for today began with a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye.

That led me to browse a few of her poems in Transfer. I read “Storyteller.”

In “Storyteller” there is an image of people gathered around a fire, sharing stories. I’ve always enjoyed sitting by a campfire, a beach fire, or backyard fire pit.

family gathered around fire pit at beach house

And so I thought about those memories … pondered life in general … jotted a few words on a sticky note to capture my thoughts.

a brief free write on a sticky

As I wrote I sensed more than a description of a campfire. I rewrote my lines on another sticky note.

a second free write on a sticky note

I read my second sticky note and let my thoughts wander and as I did, I typed my thinking:

Light and darkness are contrasts of life, like life and death, day and night, youth and old age, truth and lies, summer and winter… The campfire at the end of the day and the beginning of night, like a bridge between contrasts, gives light in the darkness, warmth in the cold. Sounds of fire… sizzle, pop, the soft crash of the logs. Embers. Sparks. Sparks that are bright against night darkness… like fireflies. Sparks create new fires. Sparks come from the old, have their beginning in what has been consumed.

I set aside my writing because duties called me.

Later I returned. I reread my notes. I began to write prose. Then I began to break my prose into verse. I played with words. I counted syllables. I rearranged lines. I changed words. My thoughts took a sharper focus. Then I again set my writing aside.

I returned much later to rearrange, to rewrite lines, to delete a stanza, to change words. The images in my head began to tie more clearly to a message. Again, I set it aside.

When I returned, I closely scrutinize words and syllables and read it over and over out loud. I looked for my message. It lurked in the last line of each stanza but it needed more. I pondered how to give it more. Another stanza?

Then I remembered a craft move — a circular ending. Like its name indicates, it creates a circle, and a circle is unending. Perhaps I could crafted a circular ending by adding beginning lines and ending lines to my three stanzas.

I did, and I felt an unending feeling emerge. It was what I wanted, a contrast to the finality carried in the imagery of night.

At last, I had a draft that expressed my thoughts and emotions, a draft that pleased me, a draft I felt comfortable sharing.


This week’s
#PoetryFriday Roundup
is hosted by Karen at Karen Edmisten*

Poetry Friday Schedule
Jan – June 2019