Friday, April 27, 2018

PAD Day 27: Meeting The Hanging Man, and a Happy (Prime) Birthday

Today's dual prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: (1) write a "story" poem, and (2) write a poem inspired by a tarot card. I know very little about tarot cards, but for me, the most intriguing one has always been "The Hanging Man". So I imagined what it would be like to actually meet this character, and made it into a "story" of sorts in a prose poem.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this, and it doesn't feel quite finished - I think I'm just trying to inject a little humor and humanization into a mystical character.

The Hanging Man

I met a man on the road, hanging upside down by his right ankle from a tree.
"You remind me of a tarot card," I said.
"Really?" he replied. "I am not familiar with that."
"Are you a martyr or a traitor?" I asked.
"That depends on who you ask."
"Who did this to you?"
"Oh, I did this on my own free will.
I might have had a little help."
I noticed his free foot was folded
behind his bound one,
and his arms were folded behind him.
"You look triangular," I said. "Or a cross folded over, like a swastika."
"Oh no," he protested. "A fylfot cross. It had a long history in heraldry,
before those Nazis got hold of it."
"You look like a crucifixion, yet you don't seem to be suffering."
"On the contrary, I've had much time for reflection.
It's as though I'm hanging between the material and spiritual worlds."
"Wow," I said. "Have you come up with any Great Truths?"
"I'm still working those out. One thing I know is I won't die here."
Suddenly I noticed something else unusual about him.
"Did you know that you have a halo?"
"No, I didn't. That might just be from all the blood rushing to my head.
Sometimes I get a doozy of a migraine.
Hey, you don't happen to have an extra sandwich
in that backpack, do you?"

And here's a bonus poem: My birthday is today (April 27), and since I'm always wrapping up a month of daily poems on my birthday, I always try to write a birthday poem to myself. Here is this year's installment. (It's also a bit of a riddle - see if you can figure out how old I am.)

Prime of My Life

This year I am a prime number.
If you counted birthdays in this way,
I would be only nineteen.

I'll have six more in my first century,
three in the next decade alone,
and I hope to make it to them all.

There is a certain security in knowing
that this year I can only be divided
by one or by myself.

I've added two lines to this poem
to make it prime as well.


Vince Gotera said...

Bruce, I love the dialog in the poem. And the sandwich reference.

Happy birthday! 67?

Bruce Niedt said...

Yup. And thanks!