Terry Wolverton produced this fevered writing based on four prompts given her by this month’s collaborating poet, Donna Frazier. Donna will be writing a new poem incorporating her choice of these words.
Baby may dangle temporarily but sooner or later they float up into the air and hover over the city in their brightly colored layettes like balloons accidentally loosed by a careless child. The babies are unafraid, being so high in the sky; they like having a view of everything—the tops of trees and the puffy clouds and the roofs of homes and the flag poles at the school they will never have to go to now. They speak with the birds and they speak to God. You can hear them crooning their little songs.
It has a bad reputation, but don’t judge. You don’t know what you would do if you were hungry or had gotten kicked out of the house or were addicted to drugs you had no money to buy. Why a hook, I always wonder? Is it because they supposedly lure you in? If anything, these women seem like the ones who are hooked, like fish once free in the river, then dangling by the mouth and bleeding. She liked to do it underneath the trees, the big old trees with spreading leaves.
Not by works of law because living things are subject to our own laws, directions of destiny and the expanse of spirit. You cannot pin us down or confine us to certain rooms or make us do things we don’t want to do. You can try, and you do try, and you have courts and police and judges and jails and armies but still you are unable to change the course of nature. The river will overflow its banks despite the concrete and the lover will do the hurtful thing despite promises and no matter how you press, we will escape.
Reflective light right side up
It’s said that Narcissus stared into the surface of the pool and glimpsed his own image. He lived in a time without mirrors and he thought it was another man he saw—a beautiful young man. He could not do anything then but spend his days gazing into the water, yearning for his object of desire, who always left him at night. How the moon teased him, giving him the merest suggestion of his beloved, shadowy and uncertain. Only the sun was faithful.
Readers who are contemplating writing your own poems may work with just the prompts or choose to use one or more passages of fevered writing to inspire your poems. Best Reader poem we receive in September will win a $25 prize.