What Did You Whisper to the Wind?

Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash

Today’s prompt was based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. 

The challenge was to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.

The Osprey

Today was the day, rising
early to head to the water.
Was that the grasses waving
good morning as we drove by?

Squinting against the sun shining,
who did I hear whistling
high-pitched and clear through the sky?
What bright sparkling caught my eye?

Whose nest was filled with littered bits —
brilliant twig jewels in morning light?
All at once I saw them coming 
fast and furious diving downward flight

orienting with the wind, floating 
on air, streaking like lightning
hunting by high dive, plucking fish
like cherries from the fresh water.

Head buried underwater, tucking
talons back, gripping their wriggling
prey on upward ascent. Tell me,
what do you whisper to the wind?

--A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What is your favorite memory in nature?

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day One Official

The daily prompt for today was to get outside of my own head and learn to see the world in a new way. I was challenged to write a poem inspired by the animated version of “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra. To really understand the poem, click the link or go to YouTube and check it out.

After watching the video, I felt it fitting to write today’s poem as a sestina—a form which looks like a spiral as it is created. Six stanzas of six lines (each 10 syllables long) that use the ending word of each line in a repetitive pattern that reverberates in other worldly fashion. The last stanza has only three lines, each containing two of the now famous “last words”.

The last word in each line is used as the last word in the lines of the stanzas that follow in a spiraling order like this:

Stanza 1 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Stanza 2 - 6, 1, 5, 2, 4, 3
Stanza 3 - 3, 6, 4, 1, 2, 5
Stanza 4 - 5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4
Stanza 5 - 4, 5, 1, 3, 6, 2
Stanza 6 - 2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1

A better way to visualize it is like this:

Once I made my decision to sestina, I put Sun Ra Arkestra on shuffle play in Spotify and wrote. Yes, it did blow my head off a bit, so be gentle with me. After all, this is only a draft.

The Arkestral Overture 

The world began in a technicolor
god-dream of pulsating psychedelic
wonder. Heralding a new connection
in this fantastic swirling dance of life—
the spiraling sestina of cosmos
sweeping away the chaos to bring peace.

And so we desire above all peace—
the kind of peace that glows technicolor
into the grey corners of the cosmos—
music rising out of psychedelic
rings that sing seductively of new life
and call the stars to ancient connection.

Born in chaos, we worship connection;
we long for tumultuous seas to know peace
and the galaxy to welcome new life.
So we watch as the bold technicolor
lights on the satellite psychedelic
shine awakening throughout the cosmos.

The satellites are spinning the cosmos—
a better day of hope and connection—
Saturn rings glowing with psychedelic
power and fused with primordial peace.
Music fusion rises technicolor
as Sun Ra plays permutations on life;

earth vibrates her diaspora of life
into the far reaches of the cosmos.
The astronomical technicolor
sending signs of an ancient connection,
vibrating to a different song of peace.
Is it any wonder psychedelic

winds of outer space blow psychedelic
thinking into the gray zones hiding life?
Spectrum living brings an alternate peace
to the hailstorm confounding the cosmos.
Longing for demon-angel connection
flowing through and from the technicolor.

Peace proclaiming the true psychedelic
gospel full of technicolor new life:
Come and now enter the cosmos of peace.

–A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne 

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.