NaPoWriMo 09 – day 20


You are the sound of water,
a fountain, somewhere
nearby but just out of sight,
around the next corner

maybe. A paved square,
a plaça beneath tall trees,

the dappled light of old trees
outside a church where children 
are quiet, at prayer, heads bent
plaça-san-felip-nerito their own strange thoughts.

Gaudi knew this place. The day
is hot, and the sound 
of your voice 
is this moment,

the promise of shade
and solitude, a chance
to look around
and smile at what

a ridiculous thing
this life has become.





Bit of an odd one, this. It began as a response to ReadWritePoem’s prompt #19, “If She Were Really Your Friend”. I’ve actually got a poem that I’ve been trying to write for ages about a very good friend, and I thought that’s what I’d be doing here. But it segued into a way of trying to evoke another friend, loosely in response to Billy Collin’s poem Litany, from “The Best American Poetry 2003”. It in turn is a response to (rebuttal of?) the Petrachan sonnet’s habit of flattering the beloved by comparing them to all manner of delights found in nature. My friend was and is a lovely, generous, laughing person. Whether she’ll be laughing, crying, or looking at me with one hand on her hip and asking me what medication I forgot to take is another matter altogether …

2 Replies to “NaPoWriMo 09 – day 20”

  1. I like the use of sounds here as opposed to actual words, lots of o’s and a’s giving the piece a softness until we get to the penultimate line and you throw in a jarring ‘ridiculous’ which does its job perfectly, it wakes us up to the reality of life. Interesting.

    1. Thank you. On this occasion the soundscaping was largely unplanned, so I’m glad that it worked. The end was a surprise to me, so I’m working on the basis that the reverse of Frost’s (?) dictum “no surprise for the writer; no surprise for the reader” is a good thing.

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