Silent Epidemic (#30 NaPoWriMo prompt)

Image result for colorado RMNP beetle kill
NPS photo

We walk among the dead.
Decimated by an epidemic of
Epic proportions.
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.

Temperate temperatures.
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.
Revive biochar.
Carcasses carved and cooked.

Sing songs about the days when
Snow piled under snowboards and skis.
When forests had winters.
When trees could grow.

Image result for colorado RMNP beetle kill
wikipedia

 

Image result for colorado RMNP beetle kill
climatediscovery.org

NaPoWriMo

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.

The Best Bad Dogs Ever (#29 NaPoWriMo Prompt)

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Cacophony announcing apocalypse,
Cattle dogs hard at work for the herd.
Ground squirrel, diving for cover while
Tongues lolling, muscles quivering, they wait.

When not pronouncing the end of the world
Their worlds end,
One each pressed to my sides,
Slack abandon in sleep.

This morning I carried my phone to the couch,
Intent on that morning coffee,
My husband in my hands (my heart, my
soul
) on video, pixels of love.

Colorado sunlight glinting off the screen and
BAI YI YI AOURRRRRRRR AY! AY! AY!
Pure fur, pure voice, rigid in attack
Set off by no more than a glimmer.

I look into my husband’s eyes,
Pixel to pixel,
Me muting the phone to save his ears.
Together: “They are the best bad dogs ever.”

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October 4th Plath Poetry Project calendar
Sylvia Plath’s The Arrival of the Bee Box

NaPoWriMo
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.

Postcard from Blood Mountain (#28 NaPoWriMo prompt: prose poem)

Blood Mountain

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.

NaPoWriMo
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.