dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

Posts tagged ‘pantoum’

Finishing an Echo

I began to write this poem back in August or before. I managed to throw together a couple of blogs on it and somehow completed it a couple of weeks ago. And I’m just now posting the completed poem. Why is that?

For one, I’m not a full time poet. One does not pay the bills as a poet unless one has multiple degrees and teaches at a university or works in publishing. Therefore, I spend much of my time working to put food on the table, buying the food to put on the table, or helping to cook the food that’s put on the table, and then cleaning up the table.

Secondly, my writing routine has been completely disrupted by family issues. We have become the guardians of our nine year old grandson while his mother works on getting her life back together. The times of day that were previously set aside for writing are now broken up to take care of other things (we thought we were finished raising children, three girls all grown, and a precocious nine year old boy is an altogether different and non-stop challenge) or to rest from the whole lot (and resting is questionable).

Now, I did manage to write a couple of poems apart from this one: two elegies. One was for a close friend who passed quietly and unexpectedly, the other for a co-worker who died a week later after years of illness. (Perhaps I’ll share them in a later post.)

So that’s why I have been absent from The Prismatic Page. That’s the reason for the delay. When I did find time to focus (arriving at work an hour early, working on my phone), it came together quite nicely. I hope you enjoy it.

Heard Through the Echoes
(A Pantoum)

Can You hear, God?
Are your ears open to my prayers?
Am I whispering in the wind,
answering echo for echo?

Are your ears open? Do my prayers
reach the heights of heaven’s heart,
answering echo for echo
within the weight of silence?

Reach the heights of heaven’s heart;
hushed echoes overflowing
within the wait of silence:
know Me.

Hushed echoes overflowing…
I AM whispering in the wind,
“Know Me.”
Can you hear God?

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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Chasing the Echo

Continuing work on the pantoum. I worked out the two repeating lines for the first and last stanzas. I plan to keep this short–four stanzas–not quite adept enough for a longer pantoum.

Punctuation does not have to be the same for the repeating lines. This helps to give new meaning to the line. I’ve also slightly changed word order of line 3 and the word “to” in line 2 becomes “do”–still the same sound. Not sure how I want the last line to look.

I’m working down and then back up towards the middle. This is what I have so far:

line1 Can You hear, God?
line2 Are your ears open to my prayers?
line3 Am I whispering in the wind,
line4 answering echo for echo?

line2 Are your ears open? Do my prayers
line5 reach the heights of heaven’s heart
line4 answering echo for echo
line6 on bended limb?

line5 Reach the heights of heaven’s heart
line7
line6 on bended limb
line8

line7
line3 I Am whispered in the wind
line8
line1  Can you hear God?
        Can you hear? God.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

To Pantoum

I confiscated a line from a co-worker a few months ago. I don’t recall the conversation or if it was merely said in passing, but I took the line and told him I  would use it in a poem. He actually liked the idea that I would take something he said and use it in a creative way. So I jotted it down on an electronic note and promptly forgot about it.

And I do mean forgot the line totally.

Until the other day the same co-worker  asked if I had written the poem yet. Admittedly, I had not and I confessed that I couldn’t even remember what the line was, though I knew it was one of those really good, unforgettable lines. Fortunately, I keep scraps of thought and I had this one in a text for just such bits and pieces.

“I heard it through the echoes”

So having re-acquired the line and the renewed challenge to use it, my mind gnawed on it. What’s the theme? What did I hear? How do I present it?

OK. Echoes. Repetition. A pantoum. I’ve used the form once before. Here’s the format:

line1
line2
line3
line4

line2
line5
line4
line6

line5
line7
line6
line8

as many stanzas as needed

line7
line3
line8
line1

And that’s about as far as I am. More later.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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