Monday, May 4, 2009

Atone


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 http://readwritepoem.org/ 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.


Atone.
Each syllable tugs and pulls.
Atone.
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.

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

Atone.
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
spot,
and easily,
too easily,
Atone becomes
Alone.

3 comments:

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

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