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Sunday 30 May 2010

The Poetry Bus and Haiku #160

Just over a week ago I was tempted to catch my first Poetry Bus. A late starter, I had to run for it, just managing to scramble breathlessly aboard. This week I was resolv ed to be in good time. I caught the bus with days to spare. A bus. The wrong bus. (Could some kind friend tell an old air head if there be some sort of time-table or whatever? How does one know where to go to catch the next one?) So, here I am again, scrambling desperately aboard once more. Having spent a couple of days in fruitless search of a suitable line, one presented itself the moment I stopped looking. The first line of Sylvia Plath's Rivals:
If the moon smiled, it would resemble you.

However, now I fear that I may not have a valid ticket. It may be that I have broken a rule or two of this absolutely splendid prompt. If so, I console myself with the thought that despite the odd broken rule, I've done nothing wrong... now where have I heard that before?

If the Moon Would Smile

If but the moon would smile, the night
might dance a jig; the sun, much bolder,
ask her out; the stars together hymn
their union, and future joys descend
to cook the wedding feast;

church bells we'd hear rung over all the earth,
the light of which be moon's for evermore;
the sun's harsh light be tamed, and dreams
let loose like fireflies on the heavenly scene;
cool shadows softly fall on scorching lands.

The moon would be forever full and full
of cheer, and man could not but catch
the lightness of her mind and be like her:
Away, she'd say, all useless contemplations.
Man sees in shadows but his own desires.

Haiku #160

See how like women's skirts
men's bathing trunks go up and down
with the economy


Rachel Green said...

Beautiful piece, Dave.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love your bus entry Dave. Anything goes on the bus, it is all very free and easy - if all else fails then tfe (see my blog list) has details of who is doing the next one.
However, it is my turn next week (June 7th,) so shall be posting the instructions on Tuesday the first. Hope to see you aboard.
I am a slow driver so you need have no fear!

Dave King said...

Much thanks.

Weaver of Grass
Ah, many thanks for that - I can breathe more easily now! I had begun to feel I was getting to be like my small daughter (once), the moment the bus or train began to move, she'd start: Are we on the right one?

Jinksy said...

This poem reminded me of a recent post on the golden fish, where Steven had a video of Jon Hassell playing a piece called 'last night the moon came dropping her clothes in the street'. Beautiful, like your poem.

Momo Luna S!gnals said...

Oh could the moon be like that for ever....

and dreams let loose like fireflies

That's so very beautiful!

Bill said...

Good one! It's rather good, too, that it sidesteps any obvious tidal imagery, I thought.

Jim Murdoch said...

An interesting piece, Dave. I tend to steer clear of writing prompts myself. Not sure why because I’ve written a couple of very good poems off the cuff based on a prompt. This has a feel of in the style of if you remember the music quiz, Face the Music. It flows very well but it more like a canal than a river, as if you’ve diverted your voice to meet the demands you’ve imposed on yourself. Not so much a criticism as an observation. I think that “over” in the first line of the second stanza would work better if you said “o’er” which would emphasise the mock-periodness of the piece. Not sure if this is what you were aiming for – I could be way off the mark - but that’s how it came across to me, to use a Face the Music-style analogy: something like ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ in the style of Mendelssohn.

Kass said...

Love the image of joys cooking a feast.
Nice lilting poem.

Helen said...

I read your lovely 'bus offering' several times .... and wanted to keep reading it. It is soft, it speaks of promise, it is full of magic and mystery.

Do long trunks mean 'up' ..
Economy is fickle ..
I say keep them short!

@ctors Business said...

Wonderful Dave, just wonderful

Ronda Laveen said...

And it is so true that shadows hold man's desire. Great haiku. Sorry can't help you with the Bus, don't know much about it.

Unknown said...

This is a gladsome poem--love the line(s): "and dreams
let loose like fireflies on the heavenly scene" Didn't see this as a mock period piece, but Jim Murdoch's comment has me curious. As with Mr Murdoch, I have a bit of an aversion to prompts but am quite intrigued to see what you're doing with them.

Unknown said...

Love the poem, Dave, especially the second stanza, in which I think the word 'over' fits very well. I'm intrigued about the swimming trunks and which length they adopt in relation to the economy?!

CiCi said...

The partial moon always smiles and then the whole moon frowns. Isn't that the way so people can howl at the moon?

Titus said...

I enjoyed this Dave. Like others, I found the second stanza particularly fine, especially,
"the sun's harsh light be tamed, and dreams
let loose like fireflies on the heavenly scene;
cool shadows softly fall on scorching lands."
The Bus is a glorious mystery, you never quite know when the prompt is coming but it always departs on a Monday. That's when the poems are meant to be posted, anyway, but Weaver's right, it's very easy going and stops wherever you want.
I like the challenge of writing to a prompt precisely because it makes me create something different to what I'd usually be writing.
I shall dream of shadows and desires and the enigma of the ending.

Peter Goulding said...

The end justifies the means Dave and strict non-adherence to the rules doesn't necessarily mean you don't get a ticket, particularly when such a mellow and serene poem emerges at the end of it!

Batteson.Ind said...

I almost fell into a dream reading tha poem.. just beautiful.. and the haiku is a cracker! :-D

Dave King said...

Ah, shame, I must have missed that. Might try to find it. Thanks jinksy

Momo Luna
Welcome and thanks. Mmm, I think we have to believe that it sould be.

Welcome to my blog. Ah, you noticed! Imporatnt, that, I thought.

Yes, I, too, have kept away from prompts until just recently, tending to think it would be easier solo than wrestling with the prompt, but then one caught me unawares. I do recall Face the music, very well. I was a great fan of it, and that is a most interesting observation you have made. I think I see exactly what you're getting at. I also think you are right in suggesting that "o'er" would work better than "over". I think the only reason I have used the latter is that I tend to be frightened off such forms as too "poetic". Silly. I must give myself a good talking to. Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for those generous comments.

What I'm not sure about
is whether shorts and skirts rise and fall
in unison or contrary-wise

but see my Haiku for today!

Lovely of you to say so. Thanks.

I tend to agree about prompts - though my old gran always stressed I was never to look a gift horse in the mouth!

Ah, I was hoping for some help on the question of which is good, up or down, but seems everyone is as mystified as I am. Thanks for your opening remarks.

Ah, yes. That does seem to be the way it mostly works.

Thanks for that. I shall post on Monday in future. I thought it had to be posted before that day. Thanks for all your comments.

Yes, that's my position exactly: the end does justify the means. Much thanks.

the watercats
Lovely comment - hope it was a lovely dream!

Enchanted Oak said...

I like your poetic bus ticket very much. The rhythm of old-fashioned lyricism is fun, as is the whole notion of the moon smiling. My favorite lines are these:
The moon would be forever full and full
of cheer, and man could not but catch
the lightness of her mind and be like her:

Kat Mortensen said...

You did wondrous things with a prompt I truly struggled with. It reminds me of "Hey, Diddle, Diddle" somewhat—a modern day nursery rhyme then?


Dave King said...

Enchanted Oak
Many thanks for those comments. Greatly appreciated.

Yes, I thought more than once that it had something in common with a nursery rhyme. I agree it was a very difficult prompt, but in the end I had no time at all. I wrote it Saturday evening, having decided on the starter line in the afternoon. In a funny way, I think that helped.

Dr. Jeanne Iris said...

Beautifully articulated poem here, Dave. If there's a rule that you broke, thank goodness, you did!

Great haiku, too.

Karen said...

Welcome aboard! You've presented a fine ticket for your first trip. As others have mentioned, the second stanza is lovely, but let me say that I don't think the style feels forced at all - formal but not forced.