sailing on uncharted seas

will those still waters
fail to depart after all?
this center—in my ignorance–
drops me in
amidst a multitude of mirrors–
will I drift away
before even beginning to move
beyond uncertainty?
mind closed,
immobilized by the guilt
of experience, held captive
by that
which always leads back
to this

I used Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats” for the Day 5 NaPoWriMo prompt, and decided to revisit the poem for the April 6 dVerse prompt from Jade (Lisa) to choose one of your favorite poems by another poet and flip the meaning on it. I’ve been working on this on and off for awhile–it’s far different than my original attempt, and probably not finished still.

I’ve done similar exercises in the past, but never tried to be so literally opposite. It’s not easy.

16 thoughts on “sailing on uncharted seas

  1. Kerfe, I’m glad you had time to write to the prompt. I compared them line by line and you’ve done quite the mood flip on it. After reading yours again and looking at your art, in my mind it lines up. I see a person at the top either in the sky or near/in the water, I see flowering plants/trees, with their mycelium, the dirt underneath, and I swear that looks like a human skeleton buried underneath, also with radiating mycelium. And, last but not least, the water there to carry it back to the lake/sky.

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    1. Thanks Jade. I like your interpretation. I see a lot of different things (as I always do) in the Rorschach, and they certainly include some of the things you see. This prompt was quite a challenge, but it helped reinforce the idea that editing is mostly subtracting and takes time. Going back to things days later, you see things you don’t see when you’re in the midst of it.

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    1. Well certainly I’ve been temporarily immobilized by guilt–my mother and grandmother took their Christianity seriously. But I’ve learned to let a lot of it go–you can’t change the past after all. And although I think guilt often attempts to close the mind off to questioning, I never felt that way. I was attempting to do my best with Jade’s prompt and reverse the meaning of the original poem. Of course whatever we write is a reflection of us in some way. But not literal in this instance.

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