Thursday, April 11, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.11

A Sunday on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.
This painting is in the Public Domain in the United States.


CHAOS

This is the monkey the pug surprised
that resulted in panic and chaos.

This is the lady the monkey climbed
when surprised by the pug
that resulted in panic and chaos.

These are the parasols that flew here and there
when the scream pierced the air
from the lady the monkey climbed (now in her hair)
when surprised by the pug
that resulted in panic and chaos.

These are the people in Sunday best
pushing and shoving into the lake
battered by parasols
alarmed by the scream
from the lady the monkey climbed (now down her back)
when surprised by the pug

who escaped from his owner
who looks on in horror

at the resulting panic and chaos.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013



We needed some comic relief after yesterday, didn't we? (Please click back and read the amazing poem Carol sent late last night.) I started by trying to write about the idyllic Sunday scene, but I kept looking at that little brown dog bursting in from the bottom right, and the monkey that seems to have its back arched in surprise. This poem makes me laugh every time I read over it, and I'll never look at this Seurat the same way!


From Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind)

Why do they just stare as I drown out here
in this river of expectations,
caught up in currents too strong to resist?
Is it my clothes, too ragged to believe?
My heart? Too jagged to see?
My ambition? It's what drives me so
I watch as the cultural elite stand motionless,
the dogs barking at the monkey squealing
at the women shading the men
just lounging around with crumbs on their tongues
as if they don't quite know their whole world is changing
and their Empire is crumbling,
yet, still, they won't lend a hand to the man
on his way up.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013

Kevin's podcast of this poem is here.


From Carol (Carol's Corner)

“Maggie”

You come to me
During a cold November rain
I do not recognize you
But you kiss my face frantically,
Insist that we have
known each other
For a very long time.
Leave muddy pawprints
Down the front of my purple raincoat

I am sure
Someone must be searching
for such a fine young yellow lab
clearly purebred.
But no one claims you.
And so you,
Sixty pounds of
frantic
tail wagging
joy
claim us.

You love many things-
Naps on the living room couch
Doggie bags
snatched from my hand
before they ever make it to the fridge.
Car rides,
not next to Ramsey
in the back of the SUV
but rather perched on the edge
of the front seat
where you pant
and drool happily
on the dashboard.

Most of all
you love Washington Park
dog heaven on earth-
endless squirrels
geese to chase
a myriad of four-legged friends.
You are the Houdini of dogs
Regularly freeing yourself
From the confines of the leash
to race through soccer games
and gobble hot dogs at birthday parties
and company picnics.

You name yourself
an honorary member
of taekwondo and folk dancing classes.
The ladies in the Thursday afternoon art class
are especially unappreciative
of your talent
issuing a lifetime ban
After you knock over an easel.

Your favorite place, though,
Is the slimy, duck-poopy,
algae-ridden lake
And you paddle gleefully
Back and forth
For hours on end
As Ramsey and I glumly wonder
Whether you will ever come out.

Your carefree existence ends
The rainy May evening
when the boys move in.
Now you have a job.
You are therapy girl.
All summer
My two broken boys
Rage and scream and rail
against a life
that has been far from kind
And you lean against them,
Gently licking
the hurt away.

© Carol Wilcox, 2013



The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 


"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

5 comments:

  1. (Before I read your poem, Mary Lee, I thought: what the heck is a monkey doing in there? I am shifting away from the monkey, since you did a nice job on your poem. Always love chaos. I was thinking about cultural change -- what with all those umbrellas and fancy pants folks -- maybe inspired a bit by Downton Abbey viewing ...)


    Why do they just stare as I drown out here
    in this river of expectations,
    caught up in currents too strong to resist?
    Is it my clothes, too ragged to believe?
    My heart? Too jagged to see?
    My ambition? It's what drives me so
    I watch as the cultural elite stand motionless,
    the dogs barking at the monkey squealing
    at the women shading the men
    just lounging around with crumbs on their tongues
    as if they don't quite know their whole world is changing
    and their Empire is crumbling,
    yet, still, they won't lend a hand to the man
    on his way up.

    -Kevin

    The Podcast: http://vocaroo.com/i/s02RBeu3gQvk

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will never be able to look at this painting again, Mary Lee, without this scene you've created springing to mind! What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Comic relief, indeed. Love the monkey chaos on such a seemingly serene scene, coming alive among dots and dots.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a fun poem to read aloud. It has a delightful rhythm. I think I may have to share it with my first graders. I think they'd enjoy the fun of it.

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I saw this picture, I immediately thought of Maggie, a crazy yellow lab that adopted me many years. Maggie loved, loved, loved Washington Park, and regularly escaped from her leash to wreak havoc- cavorting happily through the park- interrupting soccer games, attending birthday parties, and participating in art classes.

    “Maggie”

    You come to me
    During a cold November rain
    I do not recognize you
    But you kiss my face frantically,
    Insist that we have
    known each other
    For a very long time.
    Leave muddy pawprints
    Down the front of my purple raincoat

    I am sure
    Someone must be searching
    for such a fine young yellow lab
    clearly purebred.
    But no one claims you.
    And so you,
    Sixty pounds of
    frantic
    tail wagging
    joy
    claim us.

    You love many things-
    Naps on the living room couch
    Doggie bags
    snatched from my hand
    before they ever make it to the fridge.
    Car rides,
    not next to Ramsey
    in the back of the SUV
    but rather perched on the edge
    of the front seat
    where you pant
    and drool happily
    on the dashboard.

    Most of all
    you love Washington Park
    dog heaven on earth-
    endless squirrels
    geese to chase
    a myriad of four-legged friends.
    You are the Houdini of dogs
    Regularly freeing yourself
    From the confines of the leash
    to race through soccer games
    and gobble hot dogs at birthday parties
    and company picnics.

    You name yourself
    an honorary member
    of taekwondo and folk dancing classes.
    The ladies in the Thursday afternoon art class
    are especially unappreciative
    of your talent
    issuing a lifetime ban
    After you knock over an easel.

    Your favorite place, though,
    Is the slimy, duck-poopy,
    algae-ridden lake
    And you paddle gleefully
    Back and forth
    For hours on end
    As Ramsey and I glumly wonder
    Whether you will ever come out.

    Your carefree existence ends
    The rainy May evening
    when the boys move in.
    Now you have a job.
    You are therapy girl.
    All summer
    My two broken boys
    Rage and scream and rail
    against a life
    that has been far from kind
    And you lean against them,
    Gently licking
    the hurt away.

    © Carol Wilcox, 2013

    ReplyDelete

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