Today’s response to MURI’S 2020 CHALLENGE FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. Like the 2019 challenge, this consists of 13 prompts, one for each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in April. They can be completed in any order. If you are interested in participating, click on the above link for the prompts and posting guidelines.
Prompt #6 is “Write a quatern about new leaves.”
Quaterns are my poetic nemesis. The first line wends its way through the poem, making an appearance in every stanza. Hasn’t it heard it’s supposed to stay in its own stanza throughout quarantine and “social distance” from neighboring ones? When a quatern is done well, the repeating line doesn’t call attention to itself; it blends unobtrusively into the scenery and gobsmacks the reader when he gets to the end. Like a perp suddenly realizing that an unmarked car has been tailing
him for blocks… How did he not see it coming?
PETAL TO THE METAL
The speed at which new leaves unfurl
captivates like a magic trick
Sun-warmed branches thin and thick
adorn themselves with nubby pearls
Who else but Nature could predict
the speed at which new leaves unfurl,
caressing careworn bark and burl?
Or grasp their shady arithmetic?
Where yesterday were pregnant sticks
today green hands sport veins and whorls
The speed at which new leaves unfurl!
They wave to the wind like lunatics
In frenzied breeze, they dip and twirl
A fresher place one could not pick
to read or nap or just reflect
on the speed at which new leaves unfurl
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