Monday, May 4, 2009


I've taken a little bit of a breather since completing the poem-a-day marathon in April. However, today I was itching to return, but searching for inspiration. I visited and used one of their random word prompts to get me started. My word was atone.

I played with the word a bit and came up with this. It's a work in progress.

Each syllable tugs and pulls.
It clangs like a giant bell
A-tone! Bong! A-tone! Bong!
Its clapper collides again and again
A-tone! A-tone!
against the mouth of my stomach.
It lies there like an anchor
on the seafloor of the conscience.

When I prepared for my
first confession Sister Marcia
said it was the same as At One.
But the breach between the two
is far bigger than a space bar
on a keyboard.

An atonal song is the hardest to sing.
Its chords are ambiguous,
its harmonic inflections,
There is no bridge,
no hook.
Does failure to atone
damn one to a hell
of looping Stravinsky?

Careful not to let it slip:
Go from tapping the tongue
firmly on the ridge
behind your front teeth
to laying it lightly
at the very same
and easily,
too easily,
Atone becomes


  1. It is so amazing what you, dear poet, can do with a one word prompt.