The Almanac Questionaire Poem

NaPoWriMo’s prompt for the final Sunday confused me. They do provide a questionaire, not unlike those Proustian ones we used to see asked of celebrities in the Sunday supplements. Almanacs are different things entirely. I used to love the old Farmer’s Almanac’s for its arcane horticultural tips mixed in with astrology and astronomy. That sent me down the rabbit hole of etymology. Almanac is originally derived from Spanish Arabic from the time when the Arab world led mathematics and science, including astronomy, while Europe was still blinking in the Dark Ages. Publication of data and observations eventually lent its name to the annuals like the Farmer’s Almanac and the World Almanac, which so fascinated me in my youth. This data was mostly gobbledygoo to me, but it was actually considered useful information by some people who knew how to interpret the code when it came to planting crops! But then I grew up a townie.

From the questionaire I extracted three that eventually made it into today’s poem: weather, today’s news headline(s), and ‘you walk to the border and you hear…’ There were twenty-two to choose from, but many of my answers were a bit lacklustre. But somedays with NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo, you just pat yourself on the head and tell yourself, “There now. You’ve done it. Now go away and play. Or work. Or nap. Or anything that is not poetry.”

Cloudy Conditions

Scholarly Moors watched night skies intently,
plotting star and planet movements, then
publishing times of future high tides and eclipses.

Who could have predicted the fallout this year
of Saturn's and Pluto's conflict and collision? Or
that they are related in any way to discussions

in the HSE re: plans to increase virus test capacity.
Or how Neptune or maybe even Manannan mac Lir himself
created a virus border down the Irish Sea.

You'd have to be able to walk on water to cross
that frontier border. But you would still get the order
"Stand clear!" and to make sure its two meter standard.

The featured image today is a Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

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