More Ekphrastic Fun and an Epitaph Poem

unnamedSo far I’ve continued to keep pace with Laura Shovan’s Ekphrastic Poetry Project–well, mostly. It’s definitely keeping me busy and I’m enjoying the process, if not always the results. Here are a few poems from this past week.

Country Road

sneaky snake

I do not have permission to share a photo of the artwork that inspired this next poem. It was a sketch drawn in white on a black background, like chalk on a chalkboard. A person’s head rests on a table/board, and her eyes are closed. On the table beneath her is a line of chalk that meanders about to end at one of her hands, which still holds a pen (or pencil or stylus). The flow of that one line reminded me of maps and travel and it seemed to leak from her closed eye, like a stream of tears.  Even after I decided to work with the “House that Jack Built” form, I still wasn’t sure where I was going. This poem really took on a life of its own as I wrote.

The Map that Jack Drew

This is the map that Jack drew

This is the tear that started the map that Jack drew

This is the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

These are the words that seeded the sorrow
that fed the tear that started the map that Jack drew

This is the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

This is the mind, so unkind,
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

This is the man, vain and blind
that spoke his mind, so unkind
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

These are the men, wined and dined,
that propped up the man, so vain and blind
that spoke his mind, so unkind,
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

This is the truth, much maligned
ignored by the men, wined and dined
that propped up the man, so vain and blind
that spoke his mind, so unkind,
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

These are the people, bold and fine
who spoke up for truth, much maligned
ignored by the men, wined and dined,
that propped up the man, so vain and blind
that spoke his mind, so unkind,
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

These are the roads that twisted and twined
that filled up with people, bold and fine
that spoke up for truth, much maligned
ignored by the men, wined and dined
that propped up the man, so vain and blind
that spoke his mind, so unkind,
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

This is the map for all mankind
to take to the roads that twist and twine
to join the people, bold and fine
who speak up for truth, much maligned
ignored by the men, wined and dined
that propped up the man, so vain and blind
that spoke his mind, so unkind,
that moved the mouth that uttered the words
that seeded the sorrow that fed the tear
that started the map that Jack drew

M. Hogan (c) 2018

Finally, on a lighter note, after reading Michelle H. Barnes Today’s Little Ditty interview with Jane Yolen and J. Patrick Lewis last week, I was inspired by their challenge to write a funny epitaph. I think I’ll be trying a few more of these!

Epitaph for a Reader

She piled books beside her bed
Some to read, some already read
Throughout the years her book stack grew
Classics, mysteries, novels, too
The content of these tomes fulfilled her
Sadly a massive bookslide killed her

M. Hogan (c) 2018

Make sure to head on over to the Poetry Friday Roundup. It’s hosted this week by Sally Murphy, vivacious Australian poet extraordinaire, at her blog. You’re sure to enjoy her terse verse and you have to admire a poet who creates poetry during a dental procedure!

 

31 thoughts on “More Ekphrastic Fun and an Epitaph Poem

  1. Clever. “Epitaph for a Reader” These playful poems have a surprise at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. murphpoet says:

    You are doing so well with the Ekphrastic poetry. I must confess to having lost my mojo very quickly, but your efforts have inspired me to do some more of the challenge! My favourite is your snake poem – such a fun use of rhyme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m trying to keep up, but during the week it’s almost impossible! So, I do what I can. I’m glad you enjoyed these and will try to find your poems on Facebook–it’s hard to keep track!

      Like

  3. Laura Shovan says:

    Hi, Molly. I’m behind on my own project, but it’s fun to read your responses here. The river poem is lovely and lyrical. And I love that clever little snake — rhyme is a good choice to match his sly playfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh dear,I feel like you must’ve looked at my bedside table when you wrote that epitaph! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    You have filled us with lovely poems this week, Molly! I do adore that “This Is The Map That Jack Drew”, so perfectly written! And the epitaph touches us all with a clever warning!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate to being satisfied by the process of Laura’s challenge, but not always the results. The best part is reading some truly fabulous poems every day. I was blown away by THE MAP THAT JACK DREW when I first read it, and I’m still impressed. And I love the humorous epitaph–it might well be a warning for me not to sit too close to my bookshelves!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That epitaph is funny. I think my hubby might be at risk, since he cannot reshelve his favorite books. Not ever! I also like your poem-a-day offerings. It’s good to see you there. I didn’t manage a poem for the quirky snake, but I love yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your epitaph is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    You’ve had a productive week!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my. I guess I better clear out the pile of books on my nightstand. It grows by the week! Good for you for keeping up with the daily poem project. I had to take a couple of days off to focus on report cards.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Those eyes-es” cracked me up, and your MAP poem stopped me in my tracks. Very powerful; timely. Thanks for sharing all of these! :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations, Molly, for such a productive week of poetry writing! I am hopelessly behind. I love all your poems, but “The Map that Jack Drew” is brilliant, and as Robyn said, so timely. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Catherine. I’m also “behind” but I’m trying to reframe it as an opportunity to gather ideas: “OH, look! I have so many prompts for writing poetry when I have more time!” lol–It’s kind of working!

      Like

  13. haitiruth says:

    What a wonderful post! Your epitaph poem is what will happen to me, I fear. “The Map That Jack Drew” is stunning – such a simple concept, but so deep when all of those causes and effects are piled up.
    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a remarkably productive poet you’ve been this week, Molly! Reading through the comments, though, I see that other aspects of your life have suffered. That’s my problem too. Never enough time for everything, so I keep tweaking at the edges till the balance feels just right. You already know how much I love your epitaph, but that snake poem is delightful as well. (Those eyes-es!) Seems to me, all it would take is a change in POV to turn that one into an epitaph poem too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Well, if you ever find one, I’m in the market for a time turner. It would be lovely to find time to do all the things I’d like to do. I’m working a bit on the balancing portion of things today–trying to get some work done. By the way, I love the idea of turning the snake poem into an epitaph.

      Like

  15. jama says:

    What a wealth of poetic goodness here today, Molly. Enjoyed all your poems, laughed and smiled my way through the snake and the epitaph. Love “beauty riots on its banks”!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. margaretsmn says:

    I’m enjoying keeping up with you and this poetry madness. It is in this daily practice that we connect and grow as poets and friends.

    Like

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