NaPoWriMo Quarantine Edition – Exercise 19

We’re now well into the second half of the month. Here in New Zealand the days are markedly shorter, and the trees are all autumnal. (And that’s just since yesterday.) Every time we pass an equinox I get surprised all over again by the way the season seems to gather speed.

So, your task today is based on observation. Go spend a few minutes outside, looking around. You’re going to really scrutinise three things. Which three is up to you – pick them randomly if you like,  but one thing should be above your head, one thing at eye level, and one thing on the ground. You might find it helpful to do your three bits of close observation in three goes, coming back inside to jot notes down in between. Or do one first thing in the morning, one during the day, and one just before you start drafting your poem. Whatever fits your day best. But: one thing should be above your head; one thing at eye level; and one thing on the ground.

Some questions to consider as part of your scrutiny:

      • what colour/s are on your object(s)? Do they blend, or stand out?
      • What size is it? (As big as a printer, as small as a shirt button?)
      • Is it moving, or still? If you blow on it gently, does it move?
      • Does it have a scent?
      • How much would you sell it for? Buy it for?
      • What does (or might) it feel like to your fingertips? How about to your bare foot? How about against your cheek?
      • Is it a singular item, or one of many? Or a part of a whole?
      • Is it broken? Or intact? Or repaired? Or self-repairing?
      • Imagine it somewhere completely wrong for it. Describe it.
      • Imagine it somewhere completely right for it. Describe it.
      • What noise does it make? What noise doesn’t it make?

When you’ve got a nice selection of notes about your three objects, take the one that feels most interesting and write a poem where you explain what it is to a visitor from another century, or even another planet. Someone for whom this really is completely new.

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