Poem A Day Challenge: April 13-14

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As April rolls on, so do the poems! Be sure to stop by Poetic Asides to check out all the wonderful poets participating in the April Poem A Day Challenge.

April 13, 2014
Prompt: Write an animal poem.

Zodiac

Drawn into the stars,
they decide our fate
Surefooted with horns,
Reliable Ram
The hard-headed Bull,
grunts and stomps the ground

Limitless fences,
of sparkle and blue
Don’t mess with the Crab,
full of fire and red
Regal and royal,
the Lion will roar
On the defensive,
the Scorpion stings

As galaxies spin,
the wheel keeps turning
Chatty is the goat,
stubborn to a fault
Caught in the current,
an enlightened Fish

Inspiration: After reading an article about Ai Weiwei’s latest exhibition openings, his work was on my mind. When the of his work combined with the prompt, I thought of his piece Zodiac Heads and the poem just flowed from there.

Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads on display at Somerset House, London. Photo by: c.b.w. 2011

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April 14, 2014
Prompt: If I Were _____. Fill in the blank to create a title and then write a poem.

If I Were Still

I could touch the air
and know where I belong
as the moon rises

Inspiration: I wrote this while waiting for the lunar eclipse.

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c.b.w. 2014

Contortion

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Unfamiliar shadows cast upon strangely lit walls

once a smooth canvas is now shredded cloth

Bend to the future or bow to the past?

the question distracts from a more obvious path

Sure, we abide in what’s left behind,

old school canon got us this far

What lies ahead deserves more faith

change is constant, like it or not

Holding on keeps roots in place, but the leash snaps tight

Reaching high the spirit takes flight, but loses sight

Somewhere between, there’s a gentle seam

bonding extremes with a clean, simple line

Look to the present to find new life,

the world is changing, accept the invite

Table With Two Legs on the Wall, Ai Weiwei, 2009
(table from the Qing Dynasty)

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Photo captured at an exhibit entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” July 2013

Words by: c.b.w. 2013

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c.b.w. 2013

Reinvented

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 Timeless pillars dismantled to slivers and shards,

No apology or appreciation, just betrayal

Tossed into a heap of oblivion,

relics of things forgotten slowly disappear

Useless refuse or outdated rubbish,

progress or desecration, you make the call

Does ignorance forgive the unforgivable,

or does a strong memory undo the crime?

Pulled from the wreckage, purpose reclaimed,

something new the pillars became

Detail of Ai Weiwei’s Kippe, 2006

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Words by c.b.w. 2013

Photo captured at an exhibition entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” in July 2013

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Special Note: New Familiars will return soon. While in the midst of the Writer’s Digest Poem A Day Challenge my muse is finding it difficult to construct any sort of narrative!

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c.b.w. 2013

The Clamor

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The center of all, we cannot be.

Rather, one small piece in the grand scheme.

There is no room for selfish greed,

yet entitled air chokes our breath.

Watch where you walk,

consider those beneath.

They cry for a choice,

a chance to be free

Voices rise, the din roars.

What is said? No one can hear.

Endless struggle leads to false belief.

Instead of joining together,

we scatter, afraid to speak. 

Ai Weiwei, “He Xie” (2010), 3,200 porcelain crabs

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Photo captured at an exhibit entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” (2013)

Words by c.b.w. (2013)

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c.b.w. 2013

Just Be

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Life is never constant.

Shifting, phasing, changing, moving, wandering . . .

Ignorance is born from refusing the inevitable.

What was never leaves us, as it never should.

What is must consume us –

But, not to destroy or overshadow

Now is now.

It is all we have.

Dreams push forward to a place where hope lives.

Treasure the possibilities, but be mindful of your grip.

Hold on, but let go.

Let the moment be.

Detail view of Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chest, (2008)

Big picture view of Ai Weiwei’s Moon Chest, (2008)

A series of wooden “chests” stand in a line across an entire room. Each chest has a strategically cut hole, so when the viewer looks through one end of the installation, the phases of the moon take shape.

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Words by: c.b.w. 2013

Photograph captured at an exhibition entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

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c.b.w. 2013