Thursday, April 16, 2009

NaPoWriMo #15: Procrastination

This prompt asked us to consider the ways we procrastinate, and write a poem about it. I have to admit to having many not very commendable ways to procrastinate, such as playing too many computer games, endless web surfing, tidying my desk and so on. What I have also heard described as "cat vacuuming". Another way in which I procrastinate is to get too bogged down in research. So I decided to make the latter tendency the focus of my poem.

How to Write a Poem about a Dandelion

First study your dandelion.
Wonder how it gets from spiky sun
to perfect seed head, while
your back is turned. Mark a spot
on the ground for your camera,
so that you can take a series
of time lapse photographs. After two weeks,
you forget for three days in a row,
and start all over again.
Then, make lists of yellow spiky things
(sun, fireworks, cheerleaders tinselled pompoms)
and of pale white things
(daytime moon, parasitic cysts,
communion wafers). Unsatisfied, spend several weeks
searching the internet for more.
Research further round things
such as: gears, cogs, wheels,
bubbles and balloons. Find out
exactly how they work. (This may take
several years of the physics
that you never took in high school).
Then, consider the air,
how the plant breathes it in and out.
And the water cycle, how it rises up
through the roots and stem,
is transpired through the leaves
becomes clouds, rain, rives, before
reaching the plants again. You will need to have
the life history of each insect found
on the dandelion's leaves, or among its roots.
And of each plant that grows
in the same field. Not to mention
the dog that pisses there. Then,
lie down in the grass, and think low, low
and slow, slow until you feel
the world as if you were a dandelion
Then you will be ready
to write a poem about it.


Anonymous said...

Delightful, clever, and quirky :-). It's a good thing you decided to write about _how_ to write about a dandelion -- clearly if you'd decided to write about a dandelion you'd never have it ready in time for NaPoWriMo!

My favorite line: "After two weeks,
you forget for three days in a row,
and start all over again." A literal LOL for me :-)

Anonymous said...

This is CUTE LOL! GREAT idea for the prompt.

January said...

This is great. So full of details. I love the things the narrator considers before being ready to write a poem. Perfect metaphor for writing a poem.

Jenn Jilks said...

I love this! I may put off writing a poem on this topic. The sun shines, birds sing, books need to be read! I have finally finished the laundry from the children visiting for the w/e.

Thanks for commenting on my blog.
Susan Boyle stands up for all women with gray in their hair.

Ageism is a topic for my Ontario Seniors blog! Must get going...maybe.

Anonymous said...

Catherine, you are a kindred spirit. The internet has afforded me so many more opportunities for research. As yet , I haven't written an 'instead of' poem.

I'm also a great fan of quirky and 'How to write a poem about a dandelion' is that. I loved your 'pale white things (daytime moon, parasitic cysts,/communion wafers)' and 'Not to mention/the dog that pisses there'.

Thank you for visiting Watermaid's Weblog.

Endment said...

Quirky is a good word for it --- the only difficult part is is resonates so clearly with my life and world.
Your lists are wonderful :)

Zeborah said...

Cat vacuuming is, technically, things you *have* to do before you can start writing. So computer games don't count, but tidying your desk does (because how can you possibly concentrate on your writing when your desk is messy?) and so does creating a detailed map in water colours showing the entire world of your fantasy novel which is set in a single small county, or doing a PhD in medieval fashion so you can authentically describe what your characters are wearing.

gautami tripathy said...

You did a good job of studying the dandelian. A beautiful poem came out of it!

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