Margo Roby proved to be a double pain this week.
On August 13th, Margo’s suggestion was used for the prompt at We Write Poems, http://wewritepoems.wordpress.com/. Prompt number 68, was to look at something thirteen different ways, and then write a poem about what you saw. Hummm, thank you, Margo.
Then, for her Tuesday Tryouts, http://margoroby.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/tuesday-tryouts-hands-on-poem/, in her own blog, she wanted us to list five strong nouns, five strong verbs and five strong adjectives. Only after writing these lists were we to really look at either our left or right hand and make a list of what we saw, how we use or have used that hand in the past, or how we might use it in the future. Now, use that list and as many of the words from the noun, verb and adjective lists as possible to write a poem. Hummm, thank you again, Margo.
At this point, I was banging my head on my computer desk and rapidly increasing the tempo. I still hadn’t found a subject to look at thirteen ways when she wants a poem about a hand.
Epiphany: combine the two impossible poems into one impossible poem. As soon as the thought hit me, my muse grabbed me by the throat (using one hand) and started dictating. Even then, she could only come up with twelve stanzas before she left in disgust.
ODE TO MY RIGHT HAND
by Mike Patrick
I look at you, now curled into the fist
which blacked the eye of my first foe.
Many times, when trouble came, I’d enlist
your faithful strength I’d come to know.
Neither large nor small; somewhere between,
with fingers piano keys reject,
no delicate grace in you is seen;
but built for any task I may select.
Scars of work and trouble mark your hide
while calluses mar the hardened palm.
I cannot see the muscle deep inside,
but it awaits command without a qualm.
With joy you grasp the tools of man,
a hammer’s handle or sword’s fine hilt,
and eagerly meet my small demands
for building homes or battles’ blood unspilt.
A manicure would help the nails,
although their purpose is obscure,
ability to scratch an itch prevails
as long as they endure.
The ridges on phalanges’ ends,
make fingerprints of mine unique
with loops and whorls and random bends.
Each groove and dot and angled peak
make up the friction ridges used
to grip minutia of the day.
They separate the pages fused
and count the money of our pay.
Of these five digits’ tactile nerves
my world of sensory love relies.
So soft while touching my love’s curves,
they start the rite that satisfies.
Across the palm, the line of head,
which drives my will to write,
ends like a delta’s watershed:
so many interests, it’s a plight.
That line of heart, so often broke,
reveals a past of starts and stops.
Their memories can still provoke
the aches of loves not soon forgot.
The line of life, still deep and long,
runs clear across my open hand.
Vitality is easy to prolong
when God has granted life so grand.
Oh mighty right, you’re at your best
with strength beyond compare
when gently folded with the left
each night, in silent evening prayer.