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Wednesday, August 11, 2010


For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt, by guest maestro Cynthia Short
Many of us live lives acquiring — or attempting to divest ourselves of — possessions. From the cars we drive, and the antique bowls our grandmas gave us, to the house we once loved but now need to sell … often possessions help define our lives.
This week’s prompt is to think of something you possess. What are your feelings about this possession? Do you possess it, or does it possess you?
Some of the things I possess, but that haven’t yet made it on the page as a poem include: a scar, my mother’s laugh, and old suitcase that I traveled with extensively. Mementos of an important part of my life, an old photo of relatives that died before I was born, a horrible gift that I must display because I love the person who gave it to me … you get the idea: most any thing in our physical worlds are possessions that might just have an impact on our lives.


Introducing Kuhn Chaidee
As you can see, he’s in good shape
That’s on account of his diet
All he can eat grows freely
Or it swims, or crawls, or flies

Kuhn Chaidee realizes
The value of possessions
Is something that’s relative
Emotional or intrinsic
Nevertheless he takes pride

His single-roomed residence
Is a permanent work-in-progress
Although a temporary construction
Built from salvaged timber, bamboo
And recycled cement sacks

He has access to running water
That he can’t afford to run
Electrical connection
Via a single plug socket
Feeding a single light bulb
Though he retires at nightfall

And a refrigerator
To store his drinking water
As well as a black and white TV
He never has time to watch
Even his ancient cell phone
Only takes incoming calls

He could never afford a car
But he can afford to smile
At his accumulated wealth
He measures in modesty