Inventory of Personal Effects

NaPoWriMo Day 19 dawns overcast and chilly. It’s the kind of day when, since it is a Sunday, calls for pulling on a cardigan that colour coordinates with your pyjamas and call it getting dressed. Sunday, after all, is meant to be a day of rest. Being confined within two kilometers from home has meant keeping pretty busy – not just poetry, but helping in the garden and keeping domestic upkeep ticking over. I have maintained a fairly strict routine, but today I am feeling like I need a flop. Which is why when the NaPoWriMo Day 19 prompt called for “walking archive” I decided to tackle the prompt by letting my eyes do the walking from my bed. This was the full invitation:

Today, our optional prompt challenges you to write a poem based on a “walking archive.” What’s that? Well, it’s when you go on a walk and gather up interesting thing – a flower, a strange piece of bark, a rock. This then becomes your “walking archive” – the physical instantiation of your walk. If you’re unable to get out of the house (as many of us now are), you can create a “walking archive” by wandering around your own home and gathering knick-knacks, family photos, maybe a strange spice or kitchen gadget you never use. One you’ve finished your gathering, lay all your materials out on a tray table, like museum specimens. Now, let your group of materials inspire your poem! You can write about just one of the things you’ve gathered, or how all of them are all linked, or even what they say about you, who chose them and brought them together.

I tend to group items that have caught my eye or have personal meaning and place them on windowsills around my house. They are like mini-altars to…whatever. So I let my eyes rove around like I was a chief inspector trying to learn something about a victim or suspect. (Yes, this has been influenced by some late night reading of a detective novel. Louise Penny, as it happens. I have been rationing the reading of my library books while staying home. That was my last fresh whodunit finished in the early hours.)

Inventory of Personal Effects
1.Conch shell-
   ocean echoes.
2.Driftwood -
   sculpted into hawk’s beak.
3.Talking stick-
   the truth spoken
   over feather.
4. Scallop fan-
    outlines mellowed.
5. Rosewood beads –
    petitions softly speak.
6.  A fossil stone –
    secrets unbroken
    grouped together.
Copyright © Bee Smith, 2020. All rights reserved.

I hope you have a restful Sabbath while you are staying at home.

Today’s featured image is a Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

One thought on “Inventory of Personal Effects

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