Author's Note: This poem is an experimental attempt based on William Stafford's prompt process: list 10 images seen in the past 24 hours; take a line from a randomly chosen poem; use it as a first line or make a response to it; weave in the line and all ten images to craft your poem. For me the experience was a flow, without trying to achieve depth or significance. Recently, some of my poems have been included in themed anthologies, and I have attempted newer forms of haikai poetry. This has meant workshopping online with an international group to learn and improve my work.
(Beginning with a line from "Backyard" by Mary Oliver) I had no time to haul out all the dead stuff so these clung to me randomly moss-like. While slicing a banana for my cereal I knew I needed an electric cutter that could chop mince blend - not randomly. A maid stood above, whispering anxieties down the stairway; my stomach cramped from last night’s undigested dinner. The low branches of the Alistonia needed pruning to let in more winter sun. I worried why we still needed air-conditioning in October, the month of walkathons when the old Opposition party walked to unite the country, to elect after decades a leader for a power barely breathing. Unlike the Alistonia, I could prune a haiku verse, substitute a word, think of more images - noonday sun reflecting on the sea, cutting a swathe of silver through blue undulations. My own reality? Sitting on a park bench early morning, Pranayama opening up my breathing, watching yellow-beaked mynahs strut on clumps of mowed grass, united as we breathe the fragrance of wet soil, now visible.
©2022 Neera Kashyap
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