That is one of the prompts for Day 22 of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. Yesterday’s balladeering has me careering off to the rhyming dictionary. I think I have swallowed it. But seriously, today’s prompt made me immediately think of the Dowra folklore about the relic of the Black Pig’s Dyke in the village. I even showed the alleged site (yet to be archaelogically sanctified or verified) to travel writer Paul Clements last summer. I was actually having a cuppa with my neighbour Winnie and her son yesterday and we were talking about it. Today’s poem is based on a tale I heard on Richard Morris tell onYou Tube. Pigs can’t fly? But I do promise that Pigs will fly!
The prompt will explain this.
And now for our daily prompt (optional as always). I’ve found this one rather useful in trying to ‘surprise’ myself into writing something I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise. Today, I’d like you to take one of the following statements of something impossible, and then write a poem in which the impossible thing happens:
The sun can’t rise in the west.
A circle can’t have corners.
Pigs can’t fly.
The clock can’t strike thirteen.
The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.
A mouse can’t eat an elephant.
On the Black Pig’s Back
I live in a landscape
of willow wand and hazel stick
when men and women could nimbly re-shape
a little girl to minute tick
or little boy into a Barbary Ape.
There once was a magician
who ran his own hedge school.
He had his pupils hard driven,
but at recess they could go out and play the fool.
However, this became cause of some local friction.
He changed his pupils into hares and hounds
so they could lose the run of themselves,
racing around the recess playground.
Their parents, those who paused to delve,
took exception, thought it way out of bounds.
Might he take to turning the children over to elves?
It was a wise woman to whom they turned
to figure out what would fix his trick.
So the children told Master that they all yearned
for him to given them some new antic.
Perhaps he could perform his own skinturn?
Well, of course, no magician could manage to resist
any opportunity for this sort of show and tell.
So, he said, mock-modest, If you insist.
What shall it be? What animal spell?
A PIG! they roared. So he made himself all contortionist
and became a great tusked black boar.
Delighted they all were that recess time
as he snuffled for truffles, acting all cocksure.
But he could not lift the bell and make it chime,.
With hooves instead of fingers he snorted and swore.
He could not lift his magic wand. He let out an enormous roar!
Enraged, he rampaged up and down and all around,
children fleeing in every direction.
He tore up hedges, scarring great ditches into the ground.
Cussing and swearing and promising he’d fix ’em,
he pounded so fast they swear he left the ground.
True! They all will have Given their oath that day
that they’d seen that black pig fly,
so intent was he in hunting down his prey.
So hot was his rage, so impotent his cries
he dug the Black Pig’s Dyke right into folkloric way.
Eventually, the dyke was seen to be
useful for warding the cattle
from northern raiders and unscrupulous mart traders to make free.
The shuck had them stuck for that boar had been artful
to furrow with both tusks in his fierce frenzy.
Now, magicians can, you see, skinturn
and be all interspecies.
They can also manage to craftily spurn
the logic of physics. Now this I will guarentee.
That old black boar quickly learned
how to get off the Black Pig’s Dyke.
He didn’t run with the hare or even the hound,
and would absolutely never mess with parents of tykes.
And one fine day he began to rise up off the ground
balloon like, with the wise woman flying him like a kite.
Copyright © 2018 Bee Smith
Featured image from en.wickipedia.org