The prompt, which you can find in its entirety here, was developed by the poet and teacher Hoa Nguyen, asks you to use a long poem by James Schuyler as a guidepost for your poem. This is a prompt that allows you to sink deeply into another poet’s work, as well as your own.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one. I listened to the 34 minute recitation of James Schyler poem “Hymns of Life” and chose to write this piece.
Paradox of life
A golden ray of light filters through my curtains and knocks at the window of my eyes. I wake up to the love of Sun. Not fully awake though.
Somehow I pull myself out of bed, rubbing my eyes; I don’t wish to miss the morning bliss.
A few hours to myself before the house resounds the clamoring of kids. Not just kids, adults alike.
I observe the city in the silence of the day, a few rare moments.
The balcony, the chair, the table, a cup of coffee and I.
Living at a height has its own merits. I live at twelfth floor (not too high, I know)-
I can see how small and big buildings have consumed the one third green of the Earth.
I manage to spot some trees; some green amidst the concrete- it appeases my eyes.
The chirping of birds- Robin, Blue Jay, Cuckoo and Goldfinch,
Their musical notes add rhythm to the song of the morning. I see them leaving their nests in search of food, to survive another day.
Survival, isn’t that what we all are doing these days?
I take another sip of caffeine- to infuse energy for my survival stint for the day.
A few joggers occupy the track by now. The grass appears greener than yesterday. Thankfully, my vicinity does its bit for the environment. I fill my vision with the beauty of blossoming flowers.
Environment, which keeps changing with time.
Time that has elapsed since I woke up;
Time that transformed the aroma of morning cool zephyr to a warm gush of wind
I get to the chores now. The mundane daily routine-
Cleaning and cooking, and again cleaning, and again cooking- never ending it seems. Stomach is a devil, never lets us breathe. So is the tongue, with taste buds umpteen.
“I want cheese pizza today,” demands one; “Schezwan noodles with Manchurian,” here comes another.
I plan one for lunch and the other for dinner. Do I have all the ingredients? I estimate; yes, I do- I had visited the store yesterday.
A soar throat I feel suddenly. All eyes at me as I clear my throat of the irritant that’s itching from within. Tonsils? Nah. “Don’t worry. It’s nothing severe,” I scream.
I make myself a cup of tea, spiced up with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, a few more herbs my grandma gave me. My throat sighs in relief as I take a sip. My quintessential home remedy.
Hubby attending official calls, kids busy studying, I have to work to ensure their work doesn’t get disrupted. Is that my only productive job?
Life is so complicated. I’m not even sure if we call it “living.” And future? What about future? That appears equally obscure, from where I stand today.
From few days to few weeks; from few weeks to few months; the situation changes every minute, only to appear more bleak.
I’m generally an optimist, but each one of us has our ebbs and flows. Probably, its time I take a break from routine. I grab my phone. I check a few messages.
I wish to call a few friends- to check on their health, to gossip, to share my concerns, but I can’t manage time. Time is scarce these days. Who decided to have just twenty-four hours in a day?
Don’t blame me! How do I manage all desires, all dreams, all expectations, and all experiences within a gamut of few hours everyday?
I guess I need another dose of caffeine, with hazelnut or chocolate this time; just wish a friend could join!