Saturday, September 5, 2015

Writing Knights Roundtable 2016 Page a Day Anthology Challenge: September

Writing Knights Roundtable is reprising its Page a Day Anthology, and has issued a call for submissions. This year they ask for 12 pieces of prose or poetry, one for each month of the year, based on your personal view of each month. After querying, I was told that taking the point of view of a character was acceptable. This provides writing prompts and allows me to flesh out characters for a book I want to write. Here is a potential entry for September. The character does not yet have a name, but her country does: Seirac, pronounced "shyrack." Summersend in Seirac
by Jack Equality Smith

The pile by my
anvil grows larger:
polished helms and hauberks,
swords and daggers,
trinkets and toys,
born of liquid fire
at the mouth
of the Great Forge.
Time to gather bees' nectar
fox grapes and crisp
Load the carts,
hitch the rams,
and travel
to the Barter Market.
Tip a horn of mead,
toss the stein
and ride the rams.
Then load the cart
with sausages and cheeses,
bins of grain, and
casks of mead and ale.
Pulling slowly up the hill
and back into the mountain,
to toil away the winter.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Interfenestration: National Poetry Month, Day Four

Today's vestigial word, "interfenestration" means the space between two windows. I decided to riff on opening up "the dirty window." Post your riff on your blog or enter the National Poetry Month contest at Writing Knights.

The Interfenestration
by Jack V Sage

The interfenestration
cannot be my motivation.
It's the space between the windows
but it doesn't have a view.

I need more inspiration than 
the interfenestration,
so I sit behind my window to
the world and peep at you.

I read about your children,
whether fuzzy or just fussy,
I check out what you had for lunch
and maybe dinner, too.

I read your darkest moments and
your biggest celebrations and
the interfenestration
seems to shrink between us two.

You read about my nightmares
and my wild imanginations,
celebrate peregrinations as
we lose a pound or two.

The interfenestration
cultivates imagination
as we all make art together,
and we write a poem or two.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Khaki Nation: National Poetry Month Challenge, Day Two

Not all laughter is good. When I read today's National Poetry Month word, "cacchinate," and listened to it's pronunciation, I heard a laugh that smacked of death and decay, not encouragement and enlightenment. I chose to use a form of the word, rather than the word itself, because it brought to mind the concept of a Khaki Nation, conforming out of fear of being cast aside. The Khaki Nation is the opposite of of the AWOL Nation, the nation whose citizens are out there flying like squirrels, jumping off buildings like characters in a video game, living lives in fast-forward. Don't forget to submit your poems to Writing Knights Roundtable, or post them on your blog.

Khaki Nation
by Jack V Sage

They drive along in electric cars,
with khaki pants knife-pressed,
blue collars pretending to
promotion to white.

Ash rises to form a humanoid shape.
Aswirl with ambition,
it cacchinates,
its laughter writhing toward the ear.

They hunch their shoulders
as they drive along, heedless.
Ignoring the wraith
as it cacchinates once more.

All they see is the finish line,
hazy in the distance,
as they ignore the chest pains
to stay in motion on the wheel.

Cacchination underpins the Khaki Nation.
It prods its victims toward its greedy maw,
chewing their lives and spitting
the bones of their dreams in a heap.

How to pronounce "cacchinate."

The Agelast: National Poetry Writer's Month Challenge, Day One

This year's National Poetry Month writing prompts are based on vestigial words. Vestigial words are those that no longer are in common use, or their current meaning no longer connects with their physical origin. For example, fewer and fewer people read a newspaper that can be touched, smelled, seen and heard. Most read their daily news on a mobile device or from a computer screen, instead.

Part of poetry comes from the sounds of the words being used. Since fewer people listen to poetry, the sounds of archaic terms are passing from our common consciousness. By using vestigial words as writing prompts, we can all help prevent the loss of the sounds that make up our language.

The Agelast

by Jack V Sage

The agile-assed agelast 

walked right past the fragile ghast.

"I'll live forever," said the gent,
"It was from laughter that ghast went."

And so away he, mirthless, ran.
And never did he laugh again.
Outlived his grandkids, one and all
refusing each of Laughter's calls.

Today's word, "agelast," means "person without mirth," or "one who never laughs."

Here is how to pronounce agelast.

Writing Knights Roundtable: NaPoWriMo Poetry Contest

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

If Heaven Exists

If Heaven exists, it has baklava,
and video game theme music played by Lindsey Stirling.
It has long tables with comfortable chairs, 
so all of you, my friends and chosen family
can be together at the tables,
laughing, sharing, jabbering away 
like a flock of drunken seagulls.

All of us would take turns reading bad poetry 
and sketching one another in a huge 
orgy of half-baked art. The background music
would be cutlery and glassware clinking and rattling
with a side of white noise from the air conditioners
blast-chilling us into near-hibernation.

Heaven would have both my daughters, all my grandchildren
and all the people they love and care about
and all the people who love and care about them all together
like the kind of family reunion that takes place only after funerals,
with kids playing on the floor in the first bedroom past the stairs,
Lite Brite pegs and Lego blocks serving as caltrops,
to keep the grownups at bay.

Adults slamming back weak lemonade and sweet tea, 
sampling the casseroles, while all talking over one another 
in a babble of "You look great!" and 
"Didn't the funeral home do a great job 
making (the deceased) look natural?" 

Heaven would have porch swings with creaking chains, 
and lots of webbed lawn chairs, including the rocking kind. 
Your rear gets swallowed whole by the loose webbing
like a boa devours a baby water buffalo, 
so you shift and wriggle, trying to break free.

Heaven would have tricycles, and Big Wheels, and spring horses, 
wagons and skateboards, and old-fashioned skates 
with butterfly nuts and sliding metal grips. 
It would have swing sets with the four-seater gliders, 
and the skin-the-cat bars and the too-short slide.
And the kids file out the door into the back yard 
in a slow-flowing stream, like the one they used to hunt crawdads in.

Heaven would have a piano, where my aunt Jane, 
just a few years older than me, would be playing Fuer Elise. 
Other cousins would be playing recorders 
or tambourines, or wax harmonicas.

Heaven would have all my friends, 
all the people I have met over the years.
My grandmother would still be alive, 
and my friend Brenda's father, JR.
Most of all, my Great Aunt Ressie would still be telling all her tales, 
and wagging her finger in some too-arrogant man's face.
My daughter Jordan would be there as well, 
climbing whatever was taller than a table.

And we would all stay up all night, 
turning marshmallows into torches 
and waving sparklers at the moon.
~Jack V. Sage