Friday, September 26, 2008

Word Fishing

For readwritepoem


Along the esplanade moths make cursive loops
around the lampposts. Do not think
that self-immolation is part of their design.
Nor that the red that pools beneath
these pohutukawas - pruned, regimented -
is blood. Around the headland
others of their kind sprawl across the cliffs,
a tangle of roots like knotted veins.

There we lie lazy on the sand a while
while frayed blossoms drift across our bodies
and moths fly straight and true
by the light of the singular moon.

The prompt was to take five words from other poems, and use them in a poem of our own. My five words were moths, pohutukawa, cursive, lazy, frayed.

Pohutukawa is a New Zealand tree which bears red blossoms like little brushes in summer - generally around Christmas time, so it is known as the "New Zealand Christmas tree". It often grows on coastal cliffs.

I took the word from this poem by Bob Orr.
"Moths" came from a poem by Olena Kalytiak Davis
"Cursive" and "lazy" came from two poems in "Made for weather" by Kaye McKenzie Cooke
"Frayed" came from a poem in "Waterlight" by Kathleen Jamie

It was an interesting exericse - while looking for words, I came to the conclusion that most poets don't use remarkable words - they just put words together in remarkable ways. I don't feel that my effort did the originals justice, but it's time I started to write regularly again, and this seemed as good a place to start as any.


Anonymous said...

I see you also ended up with the moon! Which this time of year, I suppose, must be nearly at the same height above the horizon in the southern and the northern hemispheres. Anyway, a very effective poem.

Anonymous said...

A light and whimsical moment, a mothy moment.

Your photos of the city are great! The shadow tree looks like it could be a giant insect.

I noticed the same thing you did about the words. It's the relationship between the words, usually, that makes the biggest impact. I like your arrangement of them.

Anonymous said...

It felt magical to me...


Andy Sewina said...

I like the remarkable way you put these unremarkable words together..

Anonymous said...

I like this, especially the observation that things are best appreciated in their home environment.