Friday, March 31, 2023

Poetry Friday: The Etheree (once more)

The March challenge was the etheree, an expanding syllable-based form we've attempted before (back in 2015, and also in 2020, although it looks like I skipped that one.) The first line has one syllable, the second, two, and so on until you reach the tenth line with ten syllables. 

Easy, right?  Well, except for picking the right one-syllable word to begin...and choosing a subject..and possibly sprinkling in some internal rhyme (if you want to.)  In truth, no challenge is ever "hard" or "easy," which makes our continual expectation that we know what we're up against each month hilariously foolish. And yet...we label our challenges anyway. Groan or gloat. Dread or delight. Until the actual writing begins, and then we have to jump in, ready or not, and see what words come. 

At least the inherent steady growth of this form lends itself well to our 2023 theme, which is transformation (conversion, alteration, metamorphosis,  mutation, growth, evolution, revision, modulation, change.. )

But, with all that, I still didn't have a subject in hand until I visited the National Cherry Blossom Kite Festival last Sunday. One event was labeled "Kite Ballet," which turned out to be kite-flying to music. But the more I listened (and watched the multitude of kites in the sky) the more I doubted that one dance form could hold what I saw. Instead, I tried to transform, over and over and over again, the initial "definition" of this event.  That led to Take #1, below.  

Kite ballet is...

but hip-hop,
kites pop and lock,
embattled X-wings; 
spring-drunk sky-flower blooms;
current-cranked deep sea creatures;
gust-lifted ghosts, soundless, spinning; 
love-floaty newlywed dragonflies; 
fly-boy flotillas in sky high beat boats.

           ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

I liked it.  But the next day, I set out to make those syllables dance harder.  So here's Take #2:


Kite  ballet is...

but bopping;
X-wing twerking; 
hip-hop high locking;
spring-drunk sky-blooms larking;
sea creatures current-cruising;
gust-lifted ghosts, soundless, meeting; 
dragonflies, newlywed love-woozy; 
brash boasting fly-boys, beat-beat-beat-beating.

                ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

My poetry sisters' etherees can be found here:

***For next month, we're writing poems in the style of Pablo Neruda.  So pick any of his poems, and see where it leads you!