It takes time to sift through the contributions to our Tweetspeak Poetry jams on Twitter, time to make sure all of the lines are, first, grouped together, and then, second, arranged for editing. People think and respond to the prompts (and each other) very differently, and that diversity is one of the strengths of these poetry jams. It also requires some careful editing.
For our most recent jam, all of the prompts were taken from Tickets for a Prayer Wheel: Poems by Annie Dillard. Here are the next six poems. (The first group of poems can be found here.)
Poems Inspired by Tickets for a Prayer Wheel
By @Doallas, @lwlindquist, @llbarkat, @SoniaJoie, @chrisyokel, @KathrynLNeel, @mmerubies, @lanearnold, @graceappears, @jen_rose, @BrighterSideblg, @flaxenprint, @Diana605, @VaporWhisp, and @MelJepson. Edited by @gyoung9751.
Once when broke, I waded the Fountain
of Trevi. People did not watch me,
not bothered by my tiny splash, the chaos
of my mind released at last, dropping away
into the water. I remembered other fountains,
my feet white and naked in the water in DC,
the big round pool of capital calm, the words
in my book falling into the pattern of the water.
A tiny manmade waterfall in the park downtown
amazed me, thrilled my heart. Now, it is small
in memory. I’m hooked on the fountain,
longing for Rome.
The birds took flight
I will not tell her what you found
down by the creek where birds took flight.
Bananas rotting on a log in the creek,
the skins speckled like the tree trunk
somersaulting the rapids. Three crawfish
were dancing; the wood duck blinked.
The birds took flight, galloping
through the wind, to the wind of Atlantis,
where there are plenty of fish to bark and dance.
I will not tell her if you promise me,
your promise a tree trunk half rotted away,
but I will stay. Falling through the air,
I glimpse what might have been.
I remember kissing
I remember kissing on the stair
a step from Tinker Creek, the moon close
like your breath on my neck.
I remember kissing in the church
parking lot, boys who whispered
God’s name and then lifted mine
from my lips, like stolen candy.
I remember leaning forward slow
and kissing soft and wishing
he would play my body like
he played his guitar.
Life was simpler, or more complicated.
I remember the creek, youth pale yellow
kissing youth on the banks of Tinker Creek
as life slit me open and poured me out,
spilling my boney youth. I was afraid
of falling through the slats in the bridge
in the woods above the creek. The spaces
were smaller than my feet but larger
in my vast imagination, where I saw
myself falling, free falling, and never
rising again, my boney youth spilled.
All this kissing. All.
Behind the waterfall
You know the tune of the silver waterfall.
Behind the waterfall I remember that kiss
as the water ran, soft between brown rocks,
and the waterfall like your tears, tendering me,
my hand bound in yellow thread, a thin thread
connecting me and you. My greatest fear was
it breaking and flying away, a thread of life,
yellow for sun, green for grass, red for love,
strung out in the space between us, waiting
to be broken. Now those songs splay wide
my heart, lay it out flat and stitch it at the seams,
bound in yellow thread, yellow sunspots
that blossomed between the slats of that kiss.
How do I return to the waterfall, to that
yellow-bellied youth unable to laugh
at all the lost space and time
but still the yellow calls.
Our secrets are bound in yellow thread.
I know the tune of the silver waterfall.
A seed pushing its way to light
A seed, pushing its way to the light,
feeling the pull of a beckoning beam.
A seed pushing its way to light,
a creek opening up to ocean.
A whisper rising to a song,
space all around me, and nothing to fill it,
threading swiftly among secrets, not
to bother, just to plant a kiss
among the lausavisur, begging
the seed to grow, pages turning
one by one, seed by seed they bloom.
Play the bones on my back
Play the bones on my back
with your delicate fingers, love.
My spine stretches like
white piano keys and I turn
to you in my darkness,
let you play me on the breeze.
And the bones? What of them?
The sheer white cord places
a damp cloak between my shadow
and my ghost.
Photograph by Vox Efx. Sourced via Flickr. Post by Glynn Young, author of the novels Dancing Priest and the recently published A Light Shining.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In May we’re exploring the theme Swan, Swallows, Phoenix.
- Poets and Poems: Bruce Beasley and “Prayershreds” - May 30, 2023
- Poets and Poems: James Sale and “StairWell” - May 23, 2023
- Poets and Poems: Catherine Esposito Prescott and “Accidental Garden” - May 16, 2023
Martha Orlando says
What amazing poems these are! And, what a beautiful way to start my day. 🙂
Maureen Doallas says
Wow, Glynn; how wonderfully you’ve put together all of our lines.
L. L. Barkat says
Love all of these and how what came from individual tweets is not individual after all.
especially enjoyed the Rome poem 🙂
Heather Truett says
These turned out brilliantly. Perfect companions to my morning coffee.
Sandra Heska King says
I need to get back to these parties!
L. L. Barkat says
yes, yes 🙂