Those late developers stare with dull, black, accusing eyes,
pale leaves still strive for the sun’s weakening rays,
flowers that should track summer shiver into autumn days.
Might they warm themselves on their own golden gaze?
Still closed in sulky pouts in early morning haze,
have they the strength to open in a blaze?
Time casts longer shadows, and wasps begin to craze,
to weave a black and yellow polka from grazed
fruit to the open petals of the sunflowers’ embrace.
Kim M. Russell, 15th September 2020
Laura’s Poetics prompt in this ninth month of the year, almost at the equinox, is somewhat melancholy and wistful. Laura has harvested some inspirational September poems from Karina Borowicz, Dorothy Lawrenson, Les Murray, W.S. Merwin and Seamus Heaney in a Poetics challenge that focuses on the number nine(echoes of The Beatles’ White Album) and we have the choice of two prompts.
We can write one or more nine-line verses, taking one of the given nine-word lines from poems by Borowicz, Lawrenson or Murray, with each consecutive word becoming the start of the next line of our poems. We must keep the word order and repeat the pattern for more verses. Laura says it’s a kind of acrostic whereby the horizontal descends to the vertical!
For those of us who like a syllabic challenge, we can write a nonet, a nine-line poem that begins with nine syllables, descending line by line to one syllable, using one of the given nine-syllable lines by Merwin or Heaney as our opener.
I chose the first option and the line ‘Those/ pale /flowers /might /still /have/ time/ to /fruit’ by Borowicz and stayed with nine-word lines.