It has been a gloriously sunny Easter bank holiday weekend so far. I’m itching to get out and do a bit more gardening. With nature doing its happy dance you might think that the NaPoWriMo Day 21 prompt might have been a bit cheerier. But no! Fairy tales! Those dark little folkloric cautionary tales. Or I could have chosen myth, but I have poems that touch on them, too. The prompt is to tell it from a minor character’s point of view. I was really resisting this prompt. And I have not completely fulfilled the brief, but…
And so when I was flagging this morning and thinking I could just eat breakfast and get on with sowing climbing beans and radishes, I counted up how many days I have been at this poetry practice.
218…two hundred and eighteen days.
And I needed a jolt of encouragement from a review of Richard Russo’s essays “The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life. ” It notes that in his essay Getting Good, he notes this:
Writing, like life, is difficult. Many truly talented people give up everyday.Anthony Quinn’s The Guardian Review, 13 April 2019
Talent is important. But practice is what sees you through to the next level. Some of us are less precious about sharing our flops in public. Because if I didn’t have to turn up on WordPress I could not prove to myself that I really had not funked on the practice.
But back to NaPoWriMo2019, where I have semi-fulfilled their spec for today. I chose the witch’s point of view from the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. Hansel and Gretel has featured in this blog before. https://sojourningsmith.blog/2018/07/03/hansel-and-gretel-reconsidered/. I have no clue why I opted for this fairy tale over other less gory ones. But I try to operate on the “first thought, best thought” principle and just run with it with this practice.
I only do what you have not
the imagination to do.
My house is no mirage.
It is an oasis of surprise.
And at the very least,
Hansel and Gretel were made
to feel welcome at my table.
What parents send wee childer out
to wander alone in a dark wood?
Wolves! Bears! Brigands!
(I shudder at the prospect of the latter.)
We who have known hunger
and danger and survive
have to keep our wits about us.
But I grew old. And rather blind.
The little boy just bemoaned their fate
from inside his cage of bones.
But his sister, now that little girl
did have her wits about her.
She was never going to be one
to end up in a cast iron pot.
Tricking the Cannibal Hag,
freeing the feeble boy,
they plucked jelly beans
right from the chimney breast.
The Vandals! They licked the icing
from the gable end and ripped out
the gingerbread roof slates
until my whole sweet
Gingerbread House caved in.
They never went home.
They'd met the Cannibal Hag.
Now they are my own.
Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved
Featured Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash