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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Napowrimo 2016, Day Eleven: Short Meditation Upon Abstraction

This morning I am determined to write.  I have caught up on all the poem prompts through yesterday.

Today's challenge/prompt is 'to write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. ...[ I'm blown away by the power of  the seemingly simple 'surprise' ending to this James Wright Poem... which the prompt writer quotes as a model for the effect.] An abstract, philosophical statement, closing ... a poem ... otherwise intensely focused on physical, sensory details.'

Ah!  A challenge I can really get my teeth into.  The model is an instructive inspiration. 

8:22 p.m.  My mental 'teeth' are still 'chewing on it.'...
4:20 day twelve...just finished.

The Spice Cabinet
by Shirley Smith Franklin

Six shelves still can't contain all my spices
(you never know which one you might need),
in bottles, boxes, in canisters and jars.
Cinnamon sticks warm from Indian sun,
peppers like Mexican, African flags
fiery red, dark green, emphatic, ground black.
Dried fenugreek, sassafras dust, gumbo file',  
cumin, Hungarian paprika. Full-bodied,
sweat-odored asafetida contained
in double containers lest umbrage offend.
Beloved/hated impertinent garlic;
its cousin ginger first sharpens, then recedes.
Occasional, celebratory spices:
dried flowers of mace, star anise, saffron gold,
white, green, long, black, round, cardamon's varied forms.
Light skinned coriander pods, purple
pomegranate seeds, ebony cloves
cradled in the embrace of a cross.
Stalwarts up front: salt, baking soda and powder.
In corners and behind all these, in the back,
odd containers yield old fashioned flavors, 
memories in the cabinet of my life.

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