Thursday, April 11, 2013

PAD Day 11

Today's dual prompts: (1) write a tanka, and (2) write a poem with the title, "In case of_______".  I couldn't really reconcile these today - titling my tanka "In Case of"-whatever just seemed awkward, so I wrote two short poems, one for each prompt. (A tanka, if you don't know, is slightly longer than a haiku, with a syllabic count of 5-7-5-7-7, usually about nature, with a twist or punchline, if you will, at the end.)

I've been thinking for days about several incidents involving hawks in my suburban neighborhood. The international student who lives with us described a hawk snatching up a mouse as she was walking home from the mall.  My neighbor told me about a grisly incident in his yard when a hawk grabbed a squirrel, which got stuck in the chain-link fence, and the bird literally tore the poor animal in half.  And we found the haunch of a rabbit on the sidewalk between my neighbor's and my yard, most likely the work of a hawk as well.  Nature can be ruthless.  My tanka could have fit with the "hunter/hunted" prompt from the other day (and I worked in a hawk/rabbit image into my "detective poem" that day too).  The other poem was just a fun little exercise, kind of like that old folk tune "There's a Hole in the Bucket".

Cruel Tanka

By the daffodils,
a hawk catches a squirrel
and tears out its throat.
Nature, I love and hate you
for your horror and beauty.

In Case of Fire

In case of fire, break glass.
In case of glass, repair windows.
In case of windows, hang curtains.
In case of curtains, let in the sun.
In case of sun, stay in the shade.
In case of shade, trim back the trees.
In case of trees, chop down for wood.
In case of wood, build a fire.
In case of fire, break glass.

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