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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


NaPoWriMo Day 13
For Read Write Poem

Today is Day 13, also known as your lucky day. Sarah J. Sloat has a wonderful prompt for you; it’s bound to get you going! She says,
I’m partial to the tried-and-true prompt that calls for starting a poem with a line written by another poet. For this go-round, it would be interesting to see what poets can launch using a line from
Norman Dubie.
In his poems, Norman Dubie tells stories, sets scenes and paints landscape, sometimes lush and sometimes wretched. His writing is sure and vivid, and his language is beautiful. As you’ll see below, his similes are incomparable. If forced to compare him with anyone, I’d be more likely to pick a painter than another writer.
For this prompt, take a Dubie line to jumpstart a poem of your own. Your poem should be titled “Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie.”
I offer a menu of possible first lines below:
1. The lights of the galaxies are strung out over a dipper of gin.
2. His chapel fell into flowers long ago.
3. A kiss is like a dress falling off a tall building.
4. Two houseflies are like two fiddles drying.
5. My favorite pastime has become the imaginary destruction of flowers.
6. In triplicate, he’s sent an application, listing grievances, to the stars.
7. You wondered about skin wrinkled by looking at jewels.
8. Her breasts filled the windows like a mouth.
9. In the near field an idle, stylish horse raised one leg.
10. Worlds are being told like beads.
11. The pearl slapdash of the moon is on the water.
Be sure to use the title suggested and credit Norman Dubie in your post!

Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

Worlds are being told like beads.
Global stories, with two sides
One bead tumbles towards me
Screaming for my attention

“Two kinds of rain in Thailand
Wet or dry, the choice is yours!”

Dry rain a contradiction?
Not on the streets of Bangkok

Occurring during twilight
Outside the Rainy Season
Earthbound, very fine drizzle
Which in a cooler climate
Would leave you soaked to the skin

Here, in Thailand, however
The heat of early evening
Makes droplets evaporate
Although you see it falling
Nothing ever becomes wet

Wet rain, on the other hand
A different kettle of fish
Preceded by gusts of wind
It can fall relentlessly

Within the space of minutes
Roads become knee-deep canals
With it, ear-splitting thunder
Lasting for an hour or two

I’ve been treated many times
While watching after nightfall
The most amazing light-shows
Performed in the Bangkok sky

Several flashes a second
Illuminate the heavens
Forking, streaking and dancing
Like faulty fluorescent tubes

Colours you can’t imagine
Ranging from yellow, orange
Sometimes green, often blue
Not forgetting purple; pink

You have to see to believe
Don’t just take my word for it
In Bangkok, as one bead knows
Both Wet and Dry rain exist

Acknowledgement: First line - Worlds are being told like beads. Originally penned by Norman Dubie.