As mentioned in my previous posts, I am not aiming to write a piece of poetry each day for NaPoWriMo 2016, but instead pick the occasional prompt that catches my eye and see what I can do with it. The first prompt I opted for was the Tritina, which you can view HERE, and the second was using an abstract line to finish, which you can view HERE.
The third prompt I have used was from Day 28, and was as follows:
And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that tells a story. But here’s the twist – the story should be told backwards. The first line should say what happened last, and work its way through the past until you get to the beginning. Now, the story doesn’t have to be complicated (it’s probably better if it isn’t)! Here’s a little example I just made up:
The Story of a Day
She lay her head down on the table.
She climbed the stairs to her room and sat down.
The afternoon of the boarding house was cool and dusty.
She walked home slowly, watching the sun settle on brick walls and half-kept gardens.
Work lasted many hours. Office lights buzzing with a faint, mad hum.
Breakfast was a small miracle.
She thought it a wonder, as always, that she’d woken up at all.
Well, that’s kind of unsettling! But I think it works as a poem. Maybe you’ll have better luck working backwards toward a happy beginning. Happy writing!
I liked the idea of writing something resembling more of a story, with a chronological order, but once I finished my poem ready to rejig and flip it backwards I had already become too attached to its current form! I also decided that, with it being a time-related prompt, the focus should be something time-related too – hence the number of Yesterdays, Todays and Tomorrows.
The Today People, by Martin Pryce
In her youth, she belonged to the Today People.
Every choice she made decided by which way the wind blew,
faces of coins,
the taste of immediacy in the air.
The Tomorrow People remembered her as Happiness,
but they were mistaken.
The years between had fooled them,
the translucency of time magnifying and blurring the truths.
Through adolescence, she learned the ways of the Tomorrow People.
Now she wrestled with consideration, continuity and community,
her mind so restless with every Tomorrow
that she forgot the beauty of Today.
Before she knew it, endless Tomorrows had come and gone,
hemmed at both ends in worry
and frayed in the middle by her own Today People.
Her knees were weak with the weight of it all.
Finally, she emerged with the Yesterday People.
She reminisced over what she had missed
living for Tomorrow.
She saw the stress etched on the faces of Tomorrow People
and the temporary extremes of Joy and Sadness
colliding in every Today.
Now she saw her childhood memories as they were;
discoloured, altered and romanticised
during the darker moments of her Tomorrow years.
Now she knew Happiness.
Let me know your thoughts – comment below or post on the Facebook site!