mired in a swamp of disparate ideas
the Kepler space telescope detects potential
planets as they cross in front of their stars,
causing them to dim
inspiration comes in waves—
consider the beauteous but secret
life of seaweed.
art and science, hand-in-hand
traipse through rain forests—
the one drenched in awe,
the other, molecules
while permafrost melts, releasing
methane into arctic air
and parrots flaunt their
brilliant colors, but languish
who knows what to believe
when truth is buried
in classified archives
deep in the bowels of some
federally controlled basements
and the mezzo-soprano
breaks the sound barrier
in search of truth?
This poem is written in response to a prompt I posted on dVerse Meeting the Bar where I challenge poets to jump into the waters of Dadaism. Some of the ideas expressed are mine; others are captured from my San Francisco State University Alumni Newsletter where former graduates excel in the world of the arts and science.
We would love to see you at our virtual Pub with a poem of your own! The doors open at 12:00 EDT.
Today I’ve been considering the sources we poets turn to for poetic inspiration–so today’s Wordsmith Wednesday is for poets although I’m sure that it can be useful to prose writers as well. I’m going to short-list some of the sources I turn to to be inspired in my writing. I’m hoping that you will add to it in the comments section.
Nature–look for details, metaphors, lessons that are present all around us. When stuck, it often helps me to take a walk. I’m blessed to live in a place that is replete with nature’s offerings.
Reading–read other poets. Their work often tickles my creative muse. I’ve mentioned some of my favorites in my list of recommended reading.
News sources–look for the seeds of story-poems hidden in the newspaper, on the Internet or on TV news broadcast.
Poetic Forms–do an Internet search and check out poetic forms. For me, the discipline of a form can jump-start and idea.
Spirituality–look to metaphysical/religious ideas and writings such as the Bible or holy books of other spiritual traditions. Look within at your own spiritual experience.
Relationships–these evoke emotional reactions that are often begging to be expressed.
History–check out historical events as well as your own history. There are stories to tell.
Mythology–although this is not an area of expertise for me, I’ve read much poetry that draws on the classical myths, stories that transcend time.
Science–a wonderful well-spring of poetic inspiration.
Art–Use painting, sculpture, photography and translate your experience into words.
Writing Prompts–those of us who participate in writing communities have a wealth of material tossed out at us on a daily or weekly basis. Check out some of the sites on my blogroll. I’d love to see you link up to my own Monday Morning Writing Prompt.
Political issues–need I say more? My personal viewpoint is to stay away from personal attacks and stick to the issues.
I hope these will be helpful to you, especially if you are feeling stuck right now. There are more–help me expand the list if you will!
I am the towering elm
that stretches up to touch the sky,
embracing the Divine.
I send my roots into Earth Mother’s
soul for nourishment.
You see the genus Ulmus.
My doubly serrated leaves
present asymmetric at the base
and at the apex, acuminate.
A true hermaphrodite,
I’m pollinated by the wind.
It is a lowly frog you hear. I sing my song of praise
in good times and in bad.
To some I am a sign of
cleansing for the spirit.
I flourish in the Mother’s waters.
You see amphibian,
the order Anura.
Four thousand (more) the species.
You study my morphology, ecology.
The ease with which Earth’s toxins
permeate my skin,
pass into my bloodstream,
worries you. Me too.
I am a simple daisy, opening
to the sun and spreading joy.
The children use my petals
to discern true love.
And happy smiles welcome me
as I adorn your gardens with my colors,
your homes with my grace.
You see the Kingdom Plantae,
look beyond my beauty
to my usefulness
as cooking oil, seeds and tea.
I travel everywhere, except Antarctica.
You know my energy is stored as inulin
and that my seeds
have little endosperm or none.
We are as one, the two of us—
science and creation.
Together we must tell of Mystery,
discover Truth and save
our Mother Earth.
light and dark
merge into one,
brighten the forest,
eclipse the dawning morn.
Do you understand these words?
I am a woman; you’re a man.
I am a Christian; you don’t believe
in anything you cannot see or touch
or comprehend in terms of science.
Together we are Everyman
who seeks to taste the meaning
of a life unfolding
Come with me, then.