NaPoWriMo 09 – day 20


You are the sound of water,
a fountain, somewhere
nearby but just out of sight,
around the next corner

maybe. A paved square,
a plaça beneath tall trees,

the dappled light of old trees
outside a church where children 
are quiet, at prayer, heads bent
plaça-san-felip-nerito their own strange thoughts.

Gaudi knew this place. The day
is hot, and the sound 
of your voice 
is this moment,

the promise of shade
and solitude, a chance
to look around
and smile at what

a ridiculous thing
this life has become.





Bit of an odd one, this. It began as a response to ReadWritePoem’s prompt #19, “If She Were Really Your Friend”. I’ve actually got a poem that I’ve been trying to write for ages about a very good friend, and I thought that’s what I’d be doing here. But it segued into a way of trying to evoke another friend, loosely in response to Billy Collin’s poem Litany, from “The Best American Poetry 2003”. It in turn is a response to (rebuttal of?) the Petrachan sonnet’s habit of flattering the beloved by comparing them to all manner of delights found in nature. My friend was and is a lovely, generous, laughing person. Whether she’ll be laughing, crying, or looking at me with one hand on her hip and asking me what medication I forgot to take is another matter altogether …


2 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 09 – day 20

  1. I like the use of sounds here as opposed to actual words, lots of o’s and a’s giving the piece a softness until we get to the penultimate line and you throw in a jarring ‘ridiculous’ which does its job perfectly, it wakes us up to the reality of life. Interesting.

    • Thank you. On this occasion the soundscaping was largely unplanned, so I’m glad that it worked. The end was a surprise to me, so I’m working on the basis that the reverse of Frost’s (?) dictum “no surprise for the writer; no surprise for the reader” is a good thing.

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