Trophic Cascade

Day 30 of NaPoWriMo2018/GloPoWriMo and I am crossing the finishing line of the April Poem A Day Marathon. I may have dodgy knees, metal in my ankle and aching hips, but by golly I can poetry-thlete! I did all the suggested prompts this year, which I didn’t do in NaPoWriMo2017. This was my personal challenge. Not being a game kind of gal and one who views rules as guidance only, this was the way I could get out of my comfort zone.

Today’s prompt is supposed to be fact based. Here is the final prompt of NaPoWriMo2018. “And for our final (optional) prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.”

I didn’t opt for history or art trivia (kind of did that with Folded Cross). It isn’tnplain weird to use a science based fact as my inspiration for today’s poem. Except, for people who know me outside ofbthenrealm of cyber space, that is plain weird! If you have notbheard of this, Wikipoedia will enlighten. I first heard about it surrounding Cristina Eisenburg’s wolf studies. (The people you encounter through Sagewoman magazine!)

Trophic Cascade

No one wants to love the wolf.

Nor do they want to be the deer,

the sacrificial victim that

maintains the entire ecosphere.

You need very few alphas,

But an awful lot of bottom feeders.

It’s really a case of trickle up,

the massed power of all those omegas.

So it goes:

Wolf downs deer.

Less deer, more trees.

More trees, less erosion.

Less erosion, more beaver.

More beaver, less flood.

Less flood, more everything happy

for everyone downstream, the solid

ballast supporting the pyramid of eco hierarchy.

I love the wolf’s topaz eye, how

alone thinks of the welfare of the pack. 

I love the deer, who could and would say good-bye

all for the love of those further downstream.

I love the pact that those two make

knowing  what they must know. 

Which one is prey? Which is on the make?

Yet we rely upon the who and what they are,

the violence of their loving,

the rough and tough meeting smooth.

One has a topaz eye on fire.

The other a velvet soft, melting soothe.

That is the imperative design in nature.

The fountain overflows,  gives  no oxygen to any lie.

It loves what it loves. So

some may live and eat, so others must die.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

Advertisements

Little Fugue in Glastonbury

Day 29 NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo finds me on Day 5 of my sojourn in southwest England. We are in Glastonbury with the festival of Beltane  imminent. The prompt for today asks us to play with the Plath Poetry Project. Choose one of that site’s posted Sylvia Plath poems and respond.  After a quick perusal I opted for Little Fugue.


Little Fugue at Glastonbury Abbey


The fallen magnolia blossom

Blistered by beastly north wind

Flesh shrivelled in infancy



This changeling season

It should be hirsute Green Man

And nude bathing at the well



I could thwack, thwack, thwack

At Old Frosty myself

With my old lady walking stick



For all the white vapour

Exuding from my breath

The cloud overhead



Nearly May and this is it

Woolen mittens a long stretch from

The white cotton of ladies summer gloves



Really more the season to huddle

Over in the hive of the Abbot’s kitchen

Warming at all four fires



And Brigid! You there on the white walls

In St. Patrick’s Chapel,

Why are you hanging on here?



The white of your snowdrops

Long since gone, but winter

Its’ prison pallour clinging on, clinging on



Beyond the time for cream to adorn the thorn

It’s barely flaunting a petticoat’s hem

To tempt any virile Green Men



Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

For my fellow sojourners Pat, Dawn and Anthony



The Folded Cross

Day28 of NaPoWriMo2018/ GloPoWriMo dawns and our prompt involves a prose poem and a postcard. Fortunately, when you are on holiday you collect postcards. Or at least if you are me, who is especialy fond  of haunting art galleries. That is one lack in my country mouse life – large civic collections of art. Today’s offering is inspired by my reaction when seeing the  Staffordshire Hoard, an Anglo- Saxon find in a field near Lichfield (been there, but didn’t pick up any postcsrds.)



The Folded Cross

You wouldn’t believe what happened to me

while I was wandering this museum gallery. It was

like I plumbed the secret depths of the Hoard’s mystery.

One thing I could pretty much guarantee to you. It was

a woman who hid the Hoard. And she was very angry

with the clergy.


Copyright 2018 Bee Smith








Postcard – The Staffordshire Hoard – gold pectoral cross -Birmingham Museums Trust




Wheel of Fortune

The prompt for Day 27 of NaPoWriMo2018 gives us the option of picking a random card from a trot deck. I didn’t use the one they linked in their blog. I happen to have not just one, but two tarot deck,apps on my iPad. I used Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot for my random and Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s Dark Goddess image for the poem’s raw material. I encourage you to look online at both artistic renderings. The images are in copyright, so no featured inage today. Today’s random pick from the app is Wheel of Fortune. It is Number 10. Being one of those divisible by a 5 is generally bodes…well, let’s just say the most positive spin is turbulence.

I am ready to roll.
Wheel of Fortune

Fortuna favours the ready

to roll with whatever change.

Do not weep. Or cry  It’s not fair!

Gnash teeth, or fall into despair.

Fortuna is fate. Also, the law of gravity.

She is the millstone grit grinding

us all to fine meal.

Even the mighty

shall become again just dust.

The kind we were at the beginning.

The kind to which we all return,

the mystical sort of stuff.

In the interim though, keep your hand

to the helm, thinking you steer the journey.

And some seem to keep their boat afloat.

Some run aground. Some drown.

It is all chance. In a way.

So spend your last pence on a beggar.

Give her a lift up

as your ship goes down.

Fortuna holds us all

In the palms of her hands.

Sometimes Her palm is soft.

Sometimes calloused from the hourglass sand.

Either way, She wears gold wings

to carry us away in the end.

What goes up comes down.

It also comes around.

Which won’t make a story bland.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

Happy Poetry Day Ireland!

Day 26 NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo finds me writing while looking out into mymfriend’s inner city secret garden. Her camellia is in full flower. Yet my mind is still in West Cavan when it comes to inspiration in response to today’s prompt. And, in one of those weird turn-ups, we may well be entertaining a West Cavan neighbour for a coffee today here in Birmingham. We are enjoined to engage all five senses on this Poetry Day Ireland. And I have sen to write a tanka this brilliantly sunshiny morning.

Upland

The cuckoo calling

Prickle of gorse blossom

Acid in the eye

Tropicana balm in the air

All in my neighbour’s honey

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

Happy Poetry Day Ireland worldwide!

LabelLit for Poetry Day Ireland

Day 25NaPoWriMo dawns for me in a different land. But I am flying the tricolour for Poetry Day Ireland by participating in Maria McManus’s Label Lit project. (Sure she grew up only up the road from me inFermanagh). Poetry Day Ireland is technically tomorrow, 26tyh April. Yesterday I was handing out LabelLit poems to staff and patrons of Ireland West Airport.

Rx for National Poetry Day

It pays to read your lit’s label.

First, prepare to be surprised.

Take a poem a day each morning,

Preferably with a little food.

First, prepare to be surprised.

Poetry takes a strong stomach, hence

‘Preferably with a little food’.

Watch out for contraindications.

Poetry takes a strong stomach, hence

The warnings to the public.

Watch out for contraindications –

Elation, possible perturbation.

It pays to read your lit’s label.

Risk raising a hue and cry.

Take a poem a day each morning.

Start each day with a little surprise.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

#PoetryDayIRL @LabelLit

We Learn To Love

Day 24 NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo and the prompt/assignment is to write an elegy, but with a hopeful note. . I am writing in haste as I have a plane to catch and LabelLit to offer to people at Knock airport. Still, I am dedicated to this self-assigned write a poem a day task.So, in brief:

We Learn to Love

 

From bud to blossom to fruit,

a tree will not give us apples

if not regularly pruned.

 

We learn to love what we love

even though it shall pass away

beyond our sight.

 

The cuckoo comes. And then it goes,

journeying back to Africa

until it comes the following year.

 

What shall pass away

will come again

if we have enough keen sight.

 

Even as standing stones eventually

fall back into the barrow of ground,

a monument to we know not what.

 

We learn to love what we love

despite leaves falling from the trees

and winter’s astringent bite.

 

We learn to love what we love,

what is beyond our sight.

 

Copyright © 2018 Bee Smith