What Remains

(a Golden Shovel after the first line of The Cremation of Sam McGee, by Robert Service)

 


Look there:
because we are
ghosts digging the strange
small and savage broken things
the forgotten world has ever done,
we all invest our greatest treasures in
a waning moon, an empty mason jar, the
way a cold indigo sky falls just past midnight
; burned by nothing so big and bold as the sun.

 

 

 

..
I’m hosting Meeting the Bar over at dVerse today, and introducing the Golden Shovel form. The bar opens at 3, Eastern Standard Time. Come play! 

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29 Responses to What Remains

  1. Bryan Ens says:

    I think that Service is my favourite poet. When I saw Bjorn’s poem, and the description of the prompt, I right away planned to use one of his poems (I’m currently reading a collection of his poetry). Love your piece!

  2. Mary says:

    Sometimes it does seem like we invest our treasures in a waning moon…..a little bit past prime! I really love this form, De. It was more of a challenge than I had thought it would be.

  3. trishwrites1 says:

    for some reason a waning moon an empty mason jar really struck me

  4. I feel that maybe if let the day pass by, we need to invest in the feebleness of waning moon…

  5. Glenn Buttkus says:

    We still drink from empty Mason jars, a throwback to the 60’s, or the Great Depression, I guess. Nice illustration of the form for us; turned out to be fun after the initial struggle–not too much different that writing to a rhyme scheme. Odd this form is used to teach kids how to write poetry, but it is.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Glenn, I think all found poetry (the Cento, erasure, etc) is a great exercise for kids, because it starts with something that already exists. It can be daunting to create something from nothing…but when you take a great poem apart, it’s inspiring. 🙂 (And I LOVE teaching poetry to kids.)

    • kanzensakura says:

      A cousin is a third grade teacher. He is also an amazing visual artist. Most forms/poems are a bit advanced for this age do he has them paint/draw a pic and then write a poem for the pic. Since it is spring, he is teaching them haiku, not 5-7-5 to get them more noticing. He has been amazed how they have taken to the form and creating haiga. Three of his kids won awards for poems and images in a state competition. One says he wants to be a poet! Get them and snare their hearts. He has encouraged age appropriate erasure for them. I am proud of him who never pens a word and what he is doing with this so young group. He gave them several of my haiku to get them started. I’m going down in a couple of weeks to meet them and talk with them. I know nothing of kids but am excited at these young posts

      • whimsygizmo says:

        LOVE it! I am a huge fan of a book called poemcrazy. She talks about an exercise where her students choose word tickets, and then build poems around those words. Their very first wordles! 🙂 I did some work with a homeschool group, writing a poetry curriculum for kids. There’s really nothing I enjoy more.

      • kanzensakura says:

        I can hardly wait. I get to hang out with poets, eat a school lunch at small tables, meet award winning writers and artists. Randy has asked me to bring some more haiku with me so he can copy and hopefully, at the end of the year, some will want to take home over the summer and continue. I mean, these kids GET haiku more so than adults who just want to blast it into a convenient form for themselves. I am going to tell them about the 50 words for rain. Already they are starting to pay more attention to the world around them because of haiku. I am going to read them some of Issa’s down to earth, funny haiku. I hope I will have some to bring from them with me. Lord, I hope they don’t want me to draw or paint!!!

      • whimsygizmo says:

        I WANT TO COME LEARN FROM YOU!

      • kanzensakura says:

        Wish we could meet in the middle and learn from each other.But we do that. I learned how to do enjambment, although I rarely use it. But it doesn’t scare me anymore. I am training my dyslexia to read it and translate it. Oh the subtlties of it. I think you and I have a long time love affair with the sky – night or day. I love the Japanese names for the seasonal skies. Spring sky is haru no sora. I think you will like the sound of that.

      • kanzensakura says:

        Wish we could meet in the middle and learn from each other.But we do that. I learned how to do enjambment, although I rarely use it. But it doesn’t scare me anymore. I am training my dyslexia to read it and translate it. Oh the subtlties of it. I think you and I have a long time love affair with the sky – night or day.

  6. Bodhirose says:

    Yes, I can just imagine all the strange things that happen in the “midnight sun”…love that! Well, I wasn’t going to read the whole poem that you got your line from when I saw how long it was but it grabbed me and I had to finish it…and loved it of course! Thanks, De!

  7. There is so much that is absolutely wonderful in this poem. I mainly love some of those lines… so stark and beautiful. And that structure is a marvel as well. Great job.

  8. Misky says:

    By all means, we should invest in the moon!

  9. ghostmmnc says:

    This one you’ve written is cool! You know I always ‘dig’ anything with ghosts. And ghosts digging the strange…Yes! 🙂

  10. The raw beauty of few words–I love this line:
    the
    way a cold indigo sky falls just past midnight

  11. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    cold indigo sky falls just past midnight
    burned by nothing so big and bold as the sun.

    Sigh such gorgeous lines De ❤ ❤ ❤

  12. Very nice. I love how you shaped it with each line being longer than the last.

  13. ghosts digging the strange
    small and savage broken things
    the forgotten world has ever done……. that’s very haunting (and I don’t mean it to be punny) just love that phrase.

  14. Candy says:

    thanks for this prompt – and two thumbs up for Robert Service

  15. kanzensakura says:

    I still drink from Mason Jars….my jar of choice is the quart size filled with frozen lemonade cubes and filled with crushed mint and iced tea and one of those long slurpee straws. This poem just knocks me back on my heels. infreakingcredible. An unusual poem to use and a mesmerizing poem born from it. the last two lines just plain old satisfies my soul.

  16. kim881 says:

    I love these lines, De: ‘a waning moon, an empty mason jar, the/ way a cold indigo sky falls just past midnight’. I can see that sky falling!

  17. kaykuala h says:

    a waning moon, an empty mason jar, the
    way a cold indigo sky falls just past midnight

    It sure can be depressingly dark and somber way past midnight. Perhaps such feelings are rightly felt when the streets are devoid of people. Thanks for hosting De!

    Hank

  18. lillian says:

    Well, so many have said so much about the poem itself. I was immediately struck by the title — how it relates to the original poem from which you scavenge 😊, to the idea of this form itself (what remains of the original poem) and to the content of your new one! I really warmed up to this form – and I agree. What a great teaching method!

  19. Patti says:

    Nice. This makes me think of archeology, unearthing the past. My favorite lines:
    “ghosts digging the strange
    small and savage broken things
    the forgotten world has ever done.”

  20. I love this part in particular:

    ‘we all invest our greatest treasures in
    a waning moon, an empty mason jar’

  21. With parents from that era, I grew up loving to drink from mason jars. wonderful poem, De!

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