We walk among the dead.
Decimated by an epidemic of
A literal graveyard.
834 million trees standing, dead.
One in fourteen trees, dead.
Death is a gray haze on a hillside,
Foreshadowing the smoke of future fires.
The physical presence
Merely a symptom
Of the thing we have imagined,
The thing that shall no longer be named.
Dry warm nights inviting, welcoming
First the mountain pine beetle (3.4 million acres)
Now also the spruce beetle (1.7 million acres).
Admire the blue-stained wood.
Make guitars, snowboards, skis.
Carcasses carved and cooked.
Sing songs about the days when
Snow piled under snowboards and skis.
When forests had winters.
When trees could grow.
And for our final (optional) prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.
It’s not what you think. Carrying everything between your shoulders up a violent mountain. Beginning the ascent thinking will I be able to? and taking another step. One woodpecker drills a rhythm. The creek straining out of ice bonds, pehlunking and bloop bloop blooping before running away as I switch back. My fingers peeled free, now cradling bamboo-topped sticks, warm where just hours ago were only frozen stubs. The sun arcs up over blood. Filtering light. Slumbering trees. My breath deep and quick and strong. Almost at the top and the rhododendrons intertwine glossy, cold-curved leaves until I’m cocooned in gold-green. My steps stir faint must of awakening earth. Emerging into voices, a dog barking, and an improbably solid stone shelter. I scramble up giant boulders, witness the smoky vista, see the world. Blood Mountain: most likely named for a battle between Native American tribes. Or the reddish lichen. Not for killing thru hikers.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Following the suggestion of our craft resource, we challenge you today to draft a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards? I’m particularly fond of this one.
Four wands working magic.
Country life for us.
Outside our home,
Forests for flying.
Followed by repose, concord, harmony.
We are rich, if not in money,
Then in time, love, and
Embellished by moment
After moment, a string of nows,
Until the present glows.
Beauty and joy, our domestic harvest.
I’ve never had a reading or even looked at a Tarot card before, but I gave the prompt a try: Tarot Card (Wands Four): From the four great staves planted in the foreground there is a great garland suspended; two female figures uplift nosegays; at their side is a bridge over a moat, leading to an old manorial house. Divinatory Meanings: They are for once almost on the surface–country life, haven of refuge, a species of domestic harvest-home, repose, concord, harmony, prosperity, peace, and the perfected work of these. Reversed: The meaning remains unaltered; it is prosperity, increase, felicity, beauty, embellishment.
And now for today’s (optional) prompt. Following Lauren Hunter’s practice of relying on tarot cards to generate ideas for poems, we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.