Friday, April 16, 2010

When Chores Get In The Way, It's Time For A Catch Up Day

April 14: Some days, squeezing out a few minutes to actually make a blog entry of something already written is a few minutes too many. Once again today is a catch up day, pulling the poems from three days into one entry in the Poem A Day Challenge. Apparently, the time hurdle was on my mind as I got the the last of these three. Enjoy. Three prompts from Robert Lee Brewer and my poems for April 14, 15 and 16 follow.

April 14: "For today's prompt, take the phrase "(blank) Island," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. You could do a well-known island, such as "Treasure Island," "Ellis Island," or "Total Drama Island." Or you could make up the name of an island. Or you could even have a long drawn out title….”

Angel Island
By Bill Kirk

Why is it that islands have such allure
And attraction as a point of destination?
Is it simply a matter of
The real estate being in short supply?
Wouldn’t it be odd if it were as simple as that.

But for whatever the reason, islands
Have captured the imagination of
Common folk and Kings,
Of artists and writers and even scientists.
For some, islands have been a prison;
A safe haven for others;
And a guardian at the gate when danger lurks.

Angel Island has been all of those things,
A beauty in The Bay, keeping a watchful eye
On the Golden Gate Bridge.

No one lives there—well, except for
Rangers and caretakers.
What a serene life that must be,
Preserving the history from a distant time,
While being a part of it still.

Wandering amidst the garrison buildings,
The immigration station and detention center,
And the defensive positions of olden times,
Leaves one almost feeling the presence
Of immigrants, detainees and defenders alike—
Ghostly tracings of those who were
Present for whatever purpose.
For those who lived and died
In this water bound isolation,
How did they come to be here?
How long did they stay?
Were they among those who never left?

In silence, the imagined sounds
Of all those souls still resound
Off the decaying walls which had been
Built for permanence so long ago.

In their laughing and crying, their
Moments of sadness and fear,
Did they wonder about the future—
About their future, on this island
Or off?

April 15: “For today's prompt, write a deadline poem. You can interpret what a deadline poem is however you wish. Maybe it's a poem that laments the idea of deadlines. Maybe it's a poem about someone intentionally missing them or who never has problems with them.”

Deadlines—What’s The Big Deal?
By Bill Kirk

How important are deadlines, anyway?
Well, not so important as to have
First billing in Webster.
Indeed, the first choice in defining the word
Tells a tale of those given
A life or death ultimatum—
Stepping over a line in the prison yard
Will make you dead.

I suppose in some way, all who
Fail to submit their written work
By a certain point in time (second definition),
May also feel a measure of death—
As literally their line (of copy)
May be declared dead on arrival
By those in control of such things.

But do deadlines work for those
Marching to the beat of a different drum?
Does being a deadline buster make one an iconoclast
Or just difficult to work with?

Deadlines may be self-imposed
Or established by others.
Either way, a certain pressure is implied
That something will or will not happen
If the deadline is not met—
Work completed,
Postmark applied,
Petition submitted,
Candidacy declared,
Vote cast;
Or even getting to school on time.

It is left to those facing the deadline,
To decide on how important it is for them—
And to accept the consequences
If they are wrong.

What time is it getting to be, anyway?

April 16: “Maybe it's a little too close to tax day, but today's prompt is to write a death poem. You can write about a specific death or consider death as an idea. In the tradition of Emily Dickinson (and other poets), you could even address Death as an entity. Or you can surprise us with a different spin on the subject.”

Ah, Death! Get Thee Behind Me!
By Bill Kirk

On the list of my least favorite things,
Death is clearly out in front of the rest.

Just think of it.
All the things you might ever
Have thought about doing,
Have started but never finished,
Have put off until a better time,
Have saved up for later and
Have actually written into your planner in ink,
Will never get done when you’re dead.

But considering life is terminal,
A time will arrive even before you kick the bucket,
When some of those things on your bucket list
Will never get crossed off because
You waited too long to start and you don’t
Have enough time,
Have enough money,
Have enough energy
Have enough health or
Have anyone left to do it with.
So, dust off your list and get busy.

Here’s to making death work so hard chasing us down,
It will wish it were dead when it does.

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying your poem a day, Bill. Would you be willing to let me use a couple at the GAP Family Blog to celebrate National Poetry Month?

    My contact information is in my profile.