I can hoo-hoot in the empty rooms
a lost owl listening to an echo
where there used to be you.
Fire in the distant hay
My stolen breath
Two raw hazelnuts on the back deck.
Delivery from a rat? a squirrel? a passing crow?
I guess that’s something we’ll never know.
You have to pour paint
over your transparency,
if you want to be visible.
In your gentle embrace
everything that overwhelms
Little horns of sunshine
exclaiming on my table,
‘Daffodils mean spring!’
On her blog @SarahDoughty prompted:
Tell me a story covering three things:
This was my response. Not exactly a story, but you know, brevity is an art! 🙂 What’s your response? Go check out her blog and leave a thought.
I feel like I need to take this moment to point out what is going on in this poem, because while there are only 3 lines and eleven words, they are woven tightly using a variety of poetic technique. First, while each line responds in order to Sarah’s 3 prompts, they also read as one sentence, so there are overlapping meanings. Secondly, there is a pattern of 4-3-4 words. Thirdly, repetition in the first line is quite emphatic, but provides a rhyme that tightens the ending with you.
Fourthly, I get seriously carried away with the sound devices assonance and consonance, binding each component of the words to their fellows. There are three vowels sounds repeated, the only out-lier is the ‘o’ in stories. e.g. I, I, my; do, do, you; release, stories, dreams; the, of. (Reminder: assonance is repetition of a vowel sound, NOT a letter). The consonant sounds also repeat with do, do, dreams; release, stories, dreams; release, stories, dreams; my dreams. The the and of are both *fricatives, and so while not exactly the same sound, the brain hears them as ‘close enough.’
Finally, that leaves only the ‘l’ is without a partner, except visually–because I,I,l look the same, don’t they? And of course, the lonely o from stories, visually matches the o’s in do. In other words, every component of each word is tied somehow to the rest of the poem. Absolutely everything fits like a tight puzzle.
Did I do any of this intentionally? No, actually. I just responded to the prompt, tidied it up until I liked it, and then when I copied it here, I noticed how tight it was.
*Fricatives in English are f,v, s (both s/z sounds), th (both θ and ð).