Ripped from the comfort of familiar soil
my roots feel the limits of a pot;
my shoots are anxious to uncurl
before they shrivel up and rot.
Other plants on the window sill
are greener, more colourful than me,
the tulips and the daffodils
bursting from their bulbs with glee.
I feed on dreams of tall, straight stems,
of glossy leaves and vivid flowers,
whorls of petals bright as gems,
the gentle patter of spring showers.
But here, on this window sill,
I’m pot-bound in unfamiliar soil.
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Image courtesy of Karin Gustafson, all rights reserved
My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Outsider Art
Outlawyer (Karin) has provided today’s prompt. She says that she feels that she is an outsider, in her own country and in the world. She says that she hasn’t written so much poetry lately, which has led her to more visual art work, in which the feeling of being an outsider has been very freeing.
Karin tells us that there is a long tradition of outsider art in the visual arts, that is, of unschooled artists making a body of work: Grandma Moses was a famous outsider artist and Simon Rodia of Watts Tower fame is another.
The prompt today is based on the idea of the outsider. We can approach this from any direction we wish: an outsider as refugee or exile; an outsider at a party or at school or from a clique. We could also use the prompt to try to write as an outsider, someone unfamiliar with the established tools of writing (an ‘outsider literary artist’). We could write about simply being outside, that is, in nature, or we could use this as an ekphrastic challenge and just write about a picture made by an outsider artist.