I lie on my back and watch clouds
balloon and distend,
sculpting ice cream shapes,
tumorous and fantastic.
I lie back on a cloud and watch
a tumorous and fantastic
sculpted ice cream
balloon and distend.
I watch the clouds on my back,
of ice cream sculptures,
I watch balloons
tumour the clouds,
fantastic ice cream sculptures
in a distended sky.
Kim M. Russell, 26th April 2019
My response to The Poetry School NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 26: The Tonic Chord
Ali says that today’s prompt is difficult to explain, so he shared the example poems first, which are: Alan Gillis’ ‘To Be Young and in Love in Middle Ireland’, Rita Dove’s ‘Fox’, and Chrissy Williams’ ‘The Lost’, as well as Edwin Morgan’s ‘Opening the Cage‘.
He explains that all of these poems work with a small palette of key words – just a handful – and shift and rearrange them like a kaleidoscope, so we see different patterns. He suggests thinking of these words as the tonic chord, the beginning and ending, the reference point to which we always return.
He would like us to try something similar: we can either pick out our key words in advance, or start writing first and then begin to modulate and return, modulate and return.