Thursday, April 25, 2013

SOUND poem prompt

in the koi pond
PAD: take the phrase “Everyone (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Everyone Thinks I’m Crazy,” “Everyone Knows the World Is Round,” “Everyone Needs to Leave Me Alone,” or whatever it is that everyone is doing (or not doing).

NaPoWriMo: Today, let’s try another musical form — the ballad. Traditionally, ballads were rhymed poems that told a story of some kind, and were often set to music. They were sometimes set in four-line verses, with an ABAB rhyme pattern, employing alternating 8 and 6 syllable, iambic lines. This 8/6 iambic pattern is sometimes referred to as ballad meter. The use of this type of pattern was not universal, however, and old ballads often involve different syllable counts, as well as refrains that break up the verses.

The form has generated many sub-genres over the years, including the sentimental ballad (think “Danny Boy“), the gruesome murder ballad, and of course, the power ballad. The form’s come a long way from the folk songs with which it began, but the narrative aspect of the ballad remains intact.

Your ballad could be sad, or funny. It could tell a tale of love, or murder, or just something silly. If you have any musical talent, it might be fun to try and actually make a tune for your ballad! Happy writing.

Molly Fisk: April 25 prompt: The sounds that fish make when no one is listening...


The sounds that fish make
when no one is listening
in the koi pond, do they mouth
& baise-moué l'ail to the sky
and dream of swimming among the stars?
But in the depths of the ocean,
there's a piscean clack & growl,
the sonic boom and tump of black drumfish
travels up canals through bedroom walls—
their song akin to water-boarding, or a hydraulic engine.
At Strawberry Cove, the first high tide after the full moon,
we'd wait for the grunion run, they'd crawl out of the sea,
the only fish that must be caught by hand.
But the town drunks and Asians gathered them up in buckets
In a bioluminescent sea, we heard shoals of herrings
fart out a Morse code—like an angry army of Jimmy Choos
let loose in Grand Central Station at rush hour.
Those droning toadfish, those heavy metal rockers
sitting by the dock of the bay, no Country Joe & the Fish
singing We don't give a damn, drive Sausalito houseboaters
stark-raving-mad on warm summer nights.
Cusk eels jackhammering in the key of sea,
force sleep-deprived oceanographers inland.
We listened to miked pirañas, castenetting
like SETI radars in the Steinhart Aquarium.
Runaway seahorses, chirping clownfish,
yellow croakers, pistol shrimp, cod & haddock
thrumming up an aquatic din—
fishily belting it out in the name of love.
From Ensenada to Point Lobos
fish are chorusing a grand stadium "wave."
No passive acoustics, they sing the body electric
with a cacophony of barks and grunts
worthy of a Liberian ship engine with thrown rods.
Midshipmen looking for love in all the wrong places,
might have stumped Aristotle and sailors alike.
But no one has ever heard a butterfly fish make a sound.
Merely a whisper and sigh of fin and wing, like rustling leaves.


30 Day Poetry Challenge: Write a poem inspired by a YouTube video.

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