{pf: p7 attempts instruction poems}

Offensive Mugs 2

Ah, welcome, beautiful May! Now, let us go back to bed.

Another month, another Poetry Project assignment. Laura’s assignments are always bound to be a challenge, as she is a poetry teacher, and can back up her suggestions with lesson plans. This month, we were tasked with writing instruction poems relating to springtime. From my observation, ‘Things To Do’ poems are typically unrhymed lists with at most some internal rhythm, but mostly descriptive turns of phrase. They’re close enough to blank verse for me to get twitchy, so I, of course, quickly imposed some rules.

I am not the only flouter of custom, I hasten to point out. Tricia uses rhymed couplets to weave a perfect poetic circle. Sara’s stunning beauty just goes its own way entirely. October is organized by Kel, while Laura gives summer that style it so clearly lacks (swanning in at half-past July, draped in spidersilk). Liz joins in to celebrate May, while Tricia’s take is beautifully bittersweet. This month, Andi joins us in spirit.

This week, I tried to enter my Zen and not murder-flail any poor creatures to death, because the moths and mayflies, they are thick just now. Unfortunately, the first being my Zen met was a black widow which somehow joined me on the front room couch. Tech Boy dispatched this whilst giving a brief biology lecture on how to recognize venomous spiders. Right. Back to the murder-flailing.

what to do if you’re a house desirous of spring cleaning

Settle in, so doors scrape open oddly,
& windows stick. Array awkward angles
– ceiling, sills – in webs. S c a t t e r c l u t t e r b r o a d l y.
Jam junk drawers. Stir cables into tangles.

Beneath the beds, bale downy puffs of dust.
Cultivate, in corners, the crisp carapace
of beetles, long expired. Mice are a must –
a nest works best. (Tuck in two, just in case.)

Spatter grimy glass with fingerprint stamps,
& construct shapes – like clouds – in carpet stains.
Attracting arachnids, or mildew from damp
Counts as a coup in a cleaning campaign.

Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted at the heart-lifting alphabetical blog of Jama-jams Rattigan, home of the cute, and the cookie. Beware of her Tuesday posts; she will bankrupt us all.

8 Replies to “{pf: p7 attempts instruction poems}”

  1. This made me laugh, Tanita! And feel like I should be rapping knuckles with a ruler or something! We are experimenting with a hanging screen door on our sliders for this summer. We’ll see how many wee beasties it allows in. Honestly, though, as soon as it’s sweaty weather, the a/c will go on until fall:>) Your rhyme is so natural and unobtrusive, and I LOVE “S c a t t e r c l u t t e r b r o a d l y./ Jam junk drawers. Stir cables into tangles.” So…you’ve met my house?

    1. @Laura: EVERY time the light comes back, it seems as if it returns solely for the purpose of highlighting the filth that has accumulated over the winter. And I get twitchy, and wait for the dark to come back!!! We got rid of so much stuff in anticipation of our move, and it’s amazing how addictive it is – I just feel like, at this time of year, the call is to keep going.

      If winter never returned, we would none of us have any possessions at all!

  2. Who let Tanita in my house?!? Thank goodness she missed the thick coating of cat litter dust in the master bath and the black gunk growing on the grout in the small bath and the stains in the kitchen sink and the grease spatters on the stove.

    I could clean it all, or I could write a poem about it. Hmm….

  3. Murder-flailing at spiders that are indoors is entirely acceptable at all times, in my opinion. And I’m still terrified that you had a black widow there – though they are apparently nowhere near as horrible as brown recluses.

    1. @Kel: I’m still pretty unhappy we had not one, but TWO black widows in the house. This bountiful, rainy spring has had some drawbacks! They’re usually really docile spiders, like the brown recluse, they only try killing you if they think you’re trying to kill them. Problem is, lying on my front room couch probably counts as “trying to kill me” to them…

  4. Me, bankrupt people? Bite your tongue. Not innocent little ole me!

    So, your poem makes my house feel dirty, as practically everything on your list is screaming at me right now. We have, as you may know, GIANT arachnids here. Thank heaven, no black widows yet (knock on wood that is rotting). We are good at clutter around here and jammed junk drawers and overflowing closets (solution: leave those doors closed). Love your fondness for “c” alliterations: crisp carapace is especially fine (even though I’ve never seen carapace in a poem ever, and now have to google it). 😀

    Ashes to ashes, dust and dustier.

    1. @Jama: I *could have * said “crisp carcasses,” but I felt like that lost the poetic sensibility, and introduced a little too much REAL on the state of my house into the poem… It’s all moth’s wings and little dead mayflies here, and I’m dusting window sills like mad. It’s funny how much death spring carries with it; all those wee beasties who only live to mate and lay eggs and then die on the floor in the corner of my office… not helpful!!!

      I know very well that your blog is turning into a little magnet where we all go and buy, buy, buy artistic pretties… and I ADORE it.

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