napowrimo#6: converse with images Many people collect favourite images, whether as memories or posters, sketches or computer files. Pick one such collection of yours – a stamp collection, a postcard book, a file of photos – and rifle through it until something catches your eye. (If you don’t have such a collection, try putting a word – any word – into Google image search or flick through the website of an art gallery.)
Once you have an image, begin to interrogate it for poems. Ask: Who or what in this picture could speak? What would they say? Why is this image meaningful to me? When I look at it, what am I remembering? How does this image make me feel? Which of my moods is easiest to find in it? Where would I want to display picture? Who do I want to see it?
Collect the answers to your questions as a hoard of words or phrases. Scatter them across a blank sheet of paper, then check for patterns. What rhymes? Where is there alliteration? Is any rhythm apparent? Patterns might suggest a form for the poem.
If there aren’t enough patterns, you have two choices: either write your poem as free verse or go back to the images and generate more words. Have fun!
I chose pictures of summer.
retracing steps running my fingers along the still smooth white trail blazes the less trekked days of summer that healed, summer that spoke new mercies under a bending willow tree.
my smile shed its scales and stretched in the light. loving words like the fireflies glowed and buzzed in my ears.
even in sun and sweat my heart could grow to the size of sunflowers, tall, bright, reaching to open to the world