March Desert


English: Orange blossom and oranges. Taken by ...

Image via Wikipedia

March Desert
Form: American Sentences

Overnight, citrus trees explode in fragrant blossom, ravish our world.
Remnants of a nest lay empty in deep grass, spring promises: illusions.
March wind batters the garden; hummingbirds struggle to take in nectar.
Early morning birdsong. Crow caws—inviting silence. Hawk swoops in, kills.
Moon escapes behind a cloud, stars take center stage, the night holds her breath.
Sing of winter oranges, desert sun. Dance on mountains topped with snow.

This week I ordered a new book on poetry by Kim Addonizio: Ordinary Genius. In an early chapter, I encountered a form and prompt invented by poet Allen Ginsberg known as American Sentence. Inspired by the Japanese Haiku, three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, Ginsberg build this poetic form on the foundation of the sentence, but a sentence comprised of seventeen syllables.

For this week’s Write2Day, I’d like to throw out the American Sentence as a prompt that can reach out to either prose or poetry writers (or those who write both). For my poem, I’ve strung together six sentences on a single theme, all things I’ve experienced here in the desert in the last few days as the changing season defies all expectations.

Because I’m currently working under deadlines, I need to continue to budget my time spent blogging, so I’m also linking this to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets’ Pub where poets from all over our wonderful world meet to share a poem, friendship and cheer. Our talented host this week is Joseph Hesch. Come on in; you will not be disappointed.

If you would like to link to Write2Day:

• Post your poem or prose sentence, based on the prompt, on your own blog or website.
• Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
• Share your name and the direct URL to your post.
• Take time to visit and comment on other participant.

The link for dVerse is here. I hope you’ll join both prompts.

Photo: GNU Free Documentation License

28 thoughts on “March Desert

  1. ManicDdaily says:

    Very nice! An interesting form (which you do well!) k.


  2. dragonkatet says:

    Oh, I loved your “American Sentences” poem, Victoria! You are so good at imagery and capturing moments, too. I especially liked the last line.


  3. tigerbrite says:

    I enjoyed this prompt. Never heard of the form B4.
    Our orange blossom does not start until April, but there are still oranges on the trees. The last being the Valencia late that we pick at the end of May.


  4. Jamie Dedes says:

    Sounds like a must read.


  5. zongrik says:

    i especially like the moon escaping…because i love celestial bodies.

    as for bodies, the body of that baby was not tattooed. it’s not even a real baby. the story is on snopes (i included that on my link)


  6. markwindham says:

    Very descriptive and enjoyable poem. Love the prompt as well and what can be done with the form (had to go back and read that section of the book, it was the fourth one down the stack on the nightstand 🙂 ). I gave it a go in a prose form. Not sure of the outcome but love the experiment. Thank you.


  7. Aurora, HSP says:

    “the night holds her breath” – felt that one out loud but could never say it as well as you have, just lovely 🙂


  8. dani says:

    love your imagery, Victoria! i live in the Arizona desert so i can really relate. thanks for the new-to-me form ~ i’ll try it when i’m a little further away from The Haiku Challenge of February. {smile}


  9. […] of a “cast of thousands”.  It is written in the form of an American sentence for – 6 sentences on a single theme, each line having 17 syllables (ie a complete haiku!)  I think I […]


  10. Mama Zen says:

    This is so vivid!


  11. I can smell the orange peel. So fresh. So alive…


  12. Steve King says:

    A great album of imagery and ideas. The change is coming here, too, with all its variety. Nice work here in demonstrating all the variety inherent in change.


  13. I don’t know where you are Victoria but you have transported me to northern New Mexico.


    Mark Butkus


  14. hobgoblin2011 says:

    def. took us on a journey of sorts here. really enjoyed that. Starting with oranges to an empty nest to spring promises to march wind/hummingbirds and nectar to early morning birdsongs/hawks and crows to moon. stars , clouds, winter, oranges, mountains, snow- great consistency between the items you used and I love how the oranges changed by the end of the poem as the seasons are shown changing. Really fine job here. Thanks


  15. Quirina says:

    Citrus blossoms … hmmm.


  16. vivinfrance says:

    I should love to experience your spring. It’s in hiding over here.


  17. This is looks like you describe Athens right now, orange trees with boughs heavy with fruit! Of course all these trees around the city are only for decoration, the oranges are not eatable, but they do give a color to the streets.

    I’m not good with forms, so I don’t know if I’ll try writing one, but it was a pleasure to stop by here and read!


  18. ladynimue says:

    Loved your words !

    American sentence .. I remember trying them long back for another blog .. thanks for this challenge. Will soon link 🙂


  19. claudia says:

    oh nice!!!…i wanna throw myself right into your words that capture spring on its best…and i wish we had some orange trees over here..


  20. brian miller says:

    ooo…nice…i like the first and miss my orange and lime trees from living in florida…really like the turn in the second sentence as well…the illusions…and would not mind dancing a few mountains you know….


  21. Laurie Kolp says:

    I love your poem and will try my hand at the form, too (after kids in bed). Thanks for introducing it to me, Victoria.


  22. zongrik says:

    i wrote a weird poem about a weird topic for a weird form. 🙂


  23. this takes me there…to it all. beautiful write.


  24. Amazing rolling imagery. Very vivid and brimming with clarity.

    Great work.


  25. Kaitlin says:

    Oh wow! That’s really cool and I had never heard of it before now. I’ll have to remember so I can come back and try this.


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