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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.


  1. Stan,
    outstanding sync, this prompt and your life over there. Must, someday, accept your invitation to see this phenomenon first hand.

  2. Thanks JD; You won't be disappointed.

  3. This is an absolutely fascinating piece you have written here Stan -- very engaaging, with a nice mythical edge, like a ledgend, but real... very cool ;). After a wild indulgent rock and roll life, I haven't been wasted now for 25 years - neither stoned nor drunk. Just sobered up one day, after the paranoia's were chasing me -- and that was that. Not on a mission nor a soapbox, I'm simply too naturally crazy to get high...
    Image & Verse

  4. Thanks Rob; You've had the best - the VERY best - of both worlds... do I envy that? No man, I f**** applaud it.

  5. "Unique" tale from the line you chose, Stan. In South Africa, we often got thunder and lightening with no rain. Fascinating and frightening!

  6. Thanks Derrick; I'm from Manchester, UK; apparently the 6th wettest city in the world. It p's down constantly. Thunder/lightning - who cares?

  7. Awesome post! Totally captivated me. Love to see that dry rain sometime. (Was actually considering traveling to Thailand this summer, but heard from a friend of mine who used to live there that August is a pretty dreadful time to go there.)

  8. Dry rain imagine that - thanks for the poem and the info!

  9. Fun poem. Thanks for teaching me about dry rain.

  10. I have lived in a place that had dry rain often (the front range of Colorado). I got so used to not getting wet that a move to Mississippi shocked me by soaking me when the thunder sounded.

    You and I chose the same prompt but we sure went in different directions.

  11. Sounds like an amazing place. I've never been to Thailand, but it sounds like you go from two extremes in weather very quickly. Portland has a cool mist in the winter that permeates your skin, but I don't think I've ever experienced a dry rain. Fascinating! Thanks for this poem, Stan!


  12. a treat. I will think of this in summer when our stagnant air drenches you cloudlessly.

  13. Fantastic imagery -- you've painted a beautiful word portrait

  14. Thanks to:
    Robin; Nov-May best - dry season, Sun, heat. Right now 40C+
    Mad Mar; It happens!
    Poemblaze; A pleasure.
    Pam; I knew it couldn't be just here.
    Mark; Here it's the humidity that permeates.
    Briarcat; That's us now.
    Lori;So many sights, sounds, experiences...
    Wayne; Prompts have been kind, so far...

  15. Stan,
    This is so well done! Enjoyed it very much!

  16. Thanks Pamela; Some things write themselves.

  17. Amazingly informative piece, You probably have enough Thai poems now to compile a book - How about it?

  18. I actually have.. sort of... "All sorts of Isan" ... I'll send you a CD as soon as I get the soundtrack sorted