Thursday, November 25, 2010

Word and Question 6

Okay, I just had a perfect, happy little line spring into my head not too long ago, but I'm gonna develop the idea that occurred to me on the drive home, and see where it leads. As usual, I'm shooting offhand...

Word: Apologia
Question (answered obliquely): On what altar do you place your hopes and dreams?

The Altar of the Traveler
"Ramp" the sign says
Nothing more
He takes it
He has to go somewhere

Innocent, she was
Then a whore
Now she runs
To someone, anywhere

Broken, shattered glass
On the floor
Art is there
Mosaics made aware

Cross of splinters
Shards of wood
Dig at skin
Another cross to bear

Altar standing
Marble door
Come from far
Find shelter on its stair

For a life
Never made
Laid upon the altar

Of the traveler

I like this one, in a strange way. It is my first attempt at keeping some sort of form (though a syllable got misplaced  here and there, and a rhyme scheme dropped along the way). I still prefer free verse, if only because I find it easier to play with words in ways that amuse me when I'm not trying to fit them in a puzzle. Still, I hope you like it.


  1. +JMJ+

    Dauvit, I like it! It has the rhythm of a traveler's song, if that makes sense.

    Since quite a few of your prompts have come from your play list, I'd like to assume this poem was inspired by music, too. Was there a song in your head when you were writing it?

    The first two stanzas really could be verses. (They remind me a bit of the first two verses of Journey's Don't Stop Believin'.) Then the third stanza could be a kind of bridge; the fourth and fifth, the chorus.

    But if you wanted to make this a proper song, you'd have to write more verses. And I'm not sure whether the very last part--which contains the word prompt--would fit in the same way.

    Thanks for playing, as always! =) When I put up the announcement for W&Q7, I'll remind everyone who hasn't read all the W&Q6 poems to make their rounds so that everyone gets some comment love.

  2. Dauvit, this is the second time in a row you've gotten my question. Ha! Maybe for next month you should just tell me what question you'd like to answer and I'll just submit that? ;o)

    I like it a lot. In my mind, it read as seemingly disjointed, like snapshots. It really added to the feel of a traveling lifestyle, of no real security or grounding. It's really quite beautiful. I like what you've done with it.

  3. E,

    At first, I thought it hadn't come from music, but I suppose Dan Fogleberg's "The Traveler" was a good part of the inspiration. Journey not so much. The other inspiration was pulled from all over, some poetic, some mundane (like the sign, which I actually saw).

    I confess I had almost forgotten to include the word, though the idea started with the last stanza, I got caught up in the other stuff.


    Funny, you got my question. I liked this one, though it frustrated me to come up with something not obvious (straightforward Catholic imagery was too easy). And you're right, it was disjointed on purpose. There are several people being described (not real people, mind you), and in the end they all come together in a way. Perhaps its the most appropriate thing for this blog's theme that I've posted in a while. I'm glad you liked it.

  4. Dauvit,

    This poem is at first glance wonderfully simple, but it becomes more intricate, or involved, with each reading. The reader notes the rhyme-scheme -- also subtle and not slavishly adhered to. I think it could be sung, or set to music, as others have hinted or noted. Taken as a whole, apart from questions of form, it is utterly gratifying, and all the more so for not being "overwritten." Bravo!

  5. +JMJ+

    Oh, it doesn't sound like Journey at all! I was just thinking of the "small town girl" and the "city boy" of Don't Stop Believin'. If I had to set this to music, I'd probably go with the style of the 70s folksy balladeers, like Fogelberg or even Dylan, or with the 90s precursors to Emo, like The Wallflowers. (Oh, dear. Did I just insult The Wallflowers? LOL!)

  6. Definite finger-picked guitar in there somewhere...

    (The rest of my commenting mechanism is in time-out after cooking a festive meal for 15 people. Maybe I'll come back next week.)