Monday, December 11th – Sunday, December 17th
It’s all too easy to forget,
despite one’s duty,
despite one’s death.
For you so loved the darkening nights.
You swayed with the ganglia of trees.
The wind whispered, “Don’t forget,”
as it rustled over a million leafy nerves.
Were you too swept through to understand?
Did you wash yourself in moonlight milk
and not imbibe the message? A virginal misconstruction.
Forgivable, yet a moment lived
is unforgiven—it can only be reckoned.
Have you not also vaulted headlong
into an unbridled tailwind,
lifted up by quivering wings,
tossed by waves over rolling hills and parched prairie,
and rivers of blood and water coiled in ancient memories,
and tenebrous ravines awash in antidiluvian visions,
and mountainous spires scorched by the sun?
You did so struggle against forgetfulness.
What could you have said
That you did not then yourself know?
This land, this land,
it seems to go on forever,
but must needs hold that next step dear—
so dear and sacred.
OLD MAN OF THE DESERT
An old man walks alone, barefoot
on sand that cuts like broken crystal
under a blinding empyrean.
The denizens of his village deride his wandering,
yet he bears no witness to their pale mockery.
He is filled to bursting with the empty desert.
Its mute song deafens his ears with love poems
sung to the oud and darbuka.
The East wind lifts him up
(he trusts it as a suckling might of its mother),
and it carries him past the Valley of Kings,
where strident Pharaohs fearfully sleep,
past the Sacred Lake of Thebes,
and the dust of man’s apotheotic delusions,
to the desert’s dawning edge.
His thirst has become his compass,
and though his lips are parched
and cracked like bricks of mud
that bake under a sweltering, neolithic sun,
as a young gypsy girl sings
who dances under the cool, spangled moon,
and tumbles out of the oasis
on a playfully salvational breeze.
The 100 Day Project is a creativity excavation. It’s about unearthing dormant or unrealized creativity by committing to a daily practice everyday for 100 days.
Creativity is a skill. The more we practice, the more skilled we become. Practice takes time. Practice takes commitment. Practice is a radical act in this speeded up world. Through practice, we develop a creative habit. Through habit, we reconnect with and know ourselves again as a creative being.
I started this 100 Day Project (my second one) on September 11th. Each week, I will write at least five hundred words of my novel. These words don’t necessarily have to be a polished product, but should, at least, be coherent and grammatically sound. I’ll also post two poems a week. These poems will be a bit more polished than first drafts. Most of the material will come from poetry that I wrote in my first 100 day project. In addition to writing the poems, I’m also going to read them, so that you may hear how they sound in my head. I’ve been told I have a pleasant voice, so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Lastly, I’ll create one blog post where I read a famous poem written by a real poet! I will also include a little history and fun facts about the poet.