Clever One (a Kenning)



Who am I?


crowface silhouette(The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 20 was to write a Kenning, a nordic-type of riddle poem using metaphors. For details, click here.)



looking up through trees, painting by B J C MThe forest is a village,
a society, inhabited.

Oaks are like knotty grandfathers
caressing with harshgentle barkbeard cheeks,
looming like green mountains,
smelling of loam and bittersweet.

Birches are lithe sisters, reaching
pale arms to the moon,
tickling the spring night with their catkins,
and the summer air with shivering leaves.

Maples cloak themselves demurely
thickly sheltering soft feathery lives
only to turn brazen come fall,
to mantle bewitchingly,
flush and glow.

Stately pines grow tall and stern
discounting the seasons,
proud silhouettes belying
their fierce tenacity,
the blaze in their adamant brawn.

Below, ancient moss
is plush and green
among old labyrinths of roots
and sweetly rotting logs.

Between, above, beyond,
hidden eyes survey every glint and shade,
from deep sweet caverns of wood and leaf.
The undergrowth rustles.

The woods are greens and more greens.
Cool with shadows, to swallow you up,
and there, and there, and – oh! –
lemon-hot greens where sun
breaches the canopy
sparking your eye,
muting your breath,
falling like a shower of air,
like a collective sigh.

Tough Timing, but then you know, Poetry

I’m glad it’s Poetry Month, even if I can’t devote as much time as I would like to.

It’s been a rough few weeks — and I’m what the docs call an “under-reporter”, so by that, please read: very hard.  I’m depressed, and my confidence is shot to hell.  I’m half-nervous, half-apathetic about an upcoming art show, which is a terrible mindset to have going into it.  I’ve mostly kept my head above the depression, but I anticipate an even bigger crash once the show is done.  That’s the usual pattern.

That’s the problem with putting so much energy into masking the symptoms of mental illness.  I’m already short on energy, so I need to burn “borrowed” fuel to pull it off: to hold casual conversations, to remember to start the dishwasher, to keep from bursting into tears until I’m safely behind closed doors.  To pretend I’m not terrified about my pending (looming) job-search.  I’ll burn even more playing the “cheerful productive professional artist” at the art show, instead of feeling my art career to this point has been a waste.

(Remember: depression lies.)

But having the poetry to distract in measured doses has helped.  Reading what everybody’s coming up with. And the NaPoWriMo “prompts” give me a framework to muddle about in.  I’m not trying to push myself too much this time around — no scrambling to make up lost days — but even eight or ten poems this month is enough to make me feel I’ve done something productive with my time.

I’ll enjoy that while I can.  The crash will come later.

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