Monday, April 24, 2017

PAD Day 24: Monks Just Want to Have Fun

Today's prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: (1) write a "faith" poem, and (2) write an ekphrastic poem based on marginalia, the little doodles and fanciful illustrations that medieval monks drew on their manuscripts.  These two prompts seemed to mesh almost perfectly today, os here is my result.


After transcribing scripture all day,
interrupted only by frequent prayer
or a Spartan meal,  one would think
that those  medieval monks would be anxious
to break out a little, to think outside the box,
or margins as the case may be. And they did.
After hours of drudgery copying Luke or Revelations,
after the day-in, day-out regimen of faith and devotion,
they strayed onto the edges of the parchment
and created something fanciful, a little divertissement
to make them smile - a snail with a cat's head,
an elephant imagined with a wolf's body,
a guy blowing a trumpet from his buttocks.
Then their pens would return to the country
of rote and reason, as if nothing had ever happened,
as if imagination had never opened the borders,
but their smiles might last a little while longer.

And here's a few weird little haiku based on some of the illustrations I saw:

cat-snail, you are slow -
you love milk and hate salt but
you're never homeless

wolphant, you are huge -
every full moon we hear you
trumpet at the moon

fish, you're so angry
you've sprouted two human arms
to go catch a man

1 comment:

Vince Gotera said...

I love the little haiku esp. the one about the fish that grew arms. Which also happen to have feet! Fun, Bruce.