As I usually do every year, I’m again writing poems for Robert Lee Brewer’s poem a day challenge. And as usual I’ll share a few that I’ve written so far.
Here are the prompts and my first attempts at poems for days 5, 6, and 8. Remember these are first drafts, so please be kind.
5. Pick an element (like from the periodic table), make it the title of your poem (or part of the title), and then, write the poem. Anything goes from hydrogen to oganesson. (For me, this was like a found poem.)
Chemical element with symbol Pt
And atomic element number 78,
My favorite metal,
Platinum, is primordial,
Which means it has existed in its current form,
Since before the earth was born.
It is transition metal and solid
With a noble stature.
Platinum has remarkable resistance
A good thing for holding
Precious stones in its hands.
For it is precious itself,
Gray-white in color
It is dense, malleable, ductile
And highly unreactive,
Making it the metal jeweler’s
Prefer to work with. I know my stones
Look their best set in platinum,
And it keeps them perfectly safe.
6. Write a poem about a sound. The poem could be about a small sound, a loud sound, a happy sound, or a creepy sound. And yes, music sounds count as well.
The most annoying thing in my life
Is my tinnitus
It’s a constant noise inside my head
That sounds like a dull low wave
and is totally incurable.
Today it’s especially evident,
Though some days it’s not.
It all depends on how stressed I am.
Now isn’t that a pickle?
The noise overpowers when I’m stressed
And I get stressed when it overpowers.
8. Write a panic poem. There are any number of things a person can panic about, including severe weather, military invasions, or what to wear to an event. And while some may be more life or death than others, that feeling of panic is just as real for a person who has to get up and speak in front of a crowd of smiling strangers as it is for a person hiding in the basement of their house as a tornado approaches.
I used to have panic attacks
When I drove on the freeway.
I would start shaking and breathing hard
And feeling my heart beats rev up
So much that I had to
Find the nearest off ramp
Or else I was sure I would die.
Some days I couldn’t get
On a freeway at all
And would drive miles out of my way
On surface streets.
But I knew I had to get over my fears
At first I’d get on the freeway
And stay in the lanes closest to the off ramps.
I’d give myself permission to get off at any time
Until I felt more and more comfortable
To venture to the next lane
and to the next and next
I also learned a little trick: open the window,
and touch the pulse in one of my wrists.
That, unbelievably calmed me down.
The moral is: I kept challenging myself
To drive the freeways. I went out
Every day. My life was too limited
I had to find a way to drive the freeways
Without panicking. And I did
Until my freeway panic was gone.
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