A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

2024 A to Z Challenge

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Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Progressive Poem is Here!

 Okay, before I go one step farther, I need to get two things off my chest...

1) Who ever decided to put National Poetry Month on the same month as the A to Z challenge
should have their poetic license revoked.

2) Who ever decided to put the A to Z challenge the same month as National Poetry Month needs to get more than just their alphabet in order.

I feel a little better.

Speaking of both challenges, yesterday Donna Smith of Mainely Write did a great job of bringing us closer to the end of this excellent epic of emigration. Her theme in the A to Z challenge is good words and I am going to start my intro with a doozy of a good word.

Today is the antepenultimate day of the progressive poem.  I learned antepenultimate 2 Summers ago when I was  reading Benjamin Dreyer's amazing book, Dreyer's English.  Antepenultimate means third from last.

Before I continue I want to advise that I made 2 changes to today's post.  The first is that I started all lines with a Capital letter.  Whoever comes behind me can certainly copy and paste from yesterdays post rather than mine.  The second is that I have changed the links, so now when you click on the previous poets pages you go directly to their original post.  

Cradled in stars, our planet sleeps, 
 Clinging to tender dreams of peace
 Sister moon watches from afar, 
 Singing lunar lullabies of hope. 

 Almost dawn, I walk with others, 
 Keeping close, my little brother. 
 Hand in hand, we carry courage 
 escaping closer to the border 

 My feet are lightning; 
 My heart is thunder. 
 Our pace draws us closer
To a new land of wonder. 

 I bristle against rough brush— 
Poppies ahead brighten the browns. 
Morning light won’t stay away—
Hearts jump at every sound. 

 I hum my own little song 
Like ripples in a stream 
Humming Mami’s lullaby
 Reminds me I have her letter

 My fingers linger on well-worn creases, 
Shielding an address, a name, a promise– 
Sister Moon will find always us 
Surrounding us with beams of kindness

 But last night as we rested in the dusty field, 
Worries crept in about matters back home. 
I huddled close to my brother. Tears revealed 
The no-choice need to escape.  I feel grown. 
Leaving all I’ve ever known 
The tender, heavy, harsh of home. 
On to maybes, on to dreams, 
On to whispers we hope could be. 

But I don’t want to whisper! I squeeze Manu’s hand. 
“¡Más cerca ahora!” Our feet pound the sand. 
We race, we pant, we lean on each other 
I open my canteen and drink gratefully 

 Thirst is slaked, but I know we’ll need 
 More than water to achieve our dreams. 
 Nights pass slowly, but days call for speed 
Through the highs and the lows, we live with extremes 

 We enter a village the one from Mami’s letter, 
 We find the steeple; food, kindly people, and shelter. 
 “We made it, Manu! Mami would be so proud!”
 I choke back a sob, then stand tall for the crowd. 
A slapping of sandals… I wake to the sound 
 Of ¡GOL! Manu’s playing! The fútbol rebounds. 
 I pinch myself. Can this be true? 
 Are we safe at last? Is our journey through? 

 I savor this safety, we’re enveloped with care, 
 but Tío across the border, still seems far as stars. 
 He could not yet come to this new place 
 But Hermana moon, kiss his tear-stained face

¿Dónde está mi querido Tío? (Where is my Dear Uncle?)
¡Mi corazón está muy frío! (My heart is very cold)

I originally wrote this in Spanish.  I then translated it into English by myself and used an online translator back to Spanish to correct  any grammatical errors I may have made.  I have the translation in parentheses but I did not intend that to be part of the poem.  Perhaps an * can be used if we feel the young readers might not know what was said. 

April 1 Patricia Franz at Reverie 
April 3 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse 
April 4 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life 
April 5 Irene at Live Your Poem 
April 6 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche 
April 7 Marcie Atkins 
April 10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance 
April 12 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise 
April 13 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care 
April 14 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link 
April 15 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities 
April 17 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe 
April 18 Tabatha at Opposite of Indifference 
April 19 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core 
April 20 Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect 
April 21 Janet, hosted here at Reflections on the Teche 
April 22 Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading 
April 23 Tanita Davis at (fiction, instead of lies) 
April 24 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone 
April 25 Rest 
April 26 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
 April 27 Donna Smith at Mainely Write 
April 28 Me at Leap of  ME Dave  

The Penultimate Verse  will be presented tomorrow, 
April 29,  by Robyn Hood Black @ Life on the Deckle Edge 

The big Finale, will be on Tuesday, 
April 30  by Michelle Kogan @ More Art for All

This was a lot of fun.  It's my 2nd time around in the progressive poem and again I am having a blast. Looking forward to seeing how Robyn and Michelle bring the journey to an end 


Mary Lee said...

Nice! I like when we get to access the emotions of our characters. I definitely think young readers (and non-Spanish-speakers) will need at least an * for your lines!

Margaret Simon said...

I am working with a young Spanish poet who wants to learn to write in English and just last week discovered the power of linking the two languages into one poem. I can't wait to share this poem with him that does just that. Thanks for playing along.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the work of making the links go to the actual post. I ALMOST did that! We could have split the work! Nice work on Spanish. There were glimpses of it earlier that fit well, too.

Linda B said...

It feels good to have the language change, Dave, and I like that you showed the mixed emotions that must be so true of those leaving their homes, but wanting to end the journey, too.

Janice Scully said...

I enjoyed your lines and they might encourage readers who are new to Spanish to try to interpret. Nice work!

Denise Krebs said...

Well done, Dave. Looking forward to good news about the uncle.

Carol Varsalona said...

Dave, I do not know Spanish so I appreciate that you translated the lines. I think children will appreciate that also.

Karin Fisher-Golton said...

I love the mixing of languages in a poem, and I like that you took it to another level. Very interesting how you used Google translate!

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