Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Evidence/Clues


“There is always a pleasure in unravelling a mystery, in catching at the gossamer clue which will guide to certainty.” 

"Singularity is almost invariably a clue. The more featureless and commonplace a crime is, the more difficult is it to bring it home."

Midweek Motif ~ Evidence/Clues

I nearly called this prompt "reading the signs"~so go with that if you wish.   Clues might be more fun, and lots and lots about evidence is in the news these days.  Do we seek these signs, clues, and evidence "to create order out of chaos" as Will Shortz says (see quote above)?  Or are we passing the time in game mode, entertaining ourselves? 

Your Challenge:  Write a new poem with one or more signs, clues, or pieces of evidence in it ~ and express where they lead.

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As I reach to close each book
lying open on my desk, it leaps up   
to snap at my fingers. My legs
won’t hold me, I must sit down.
My fingers pain me
where the thick leaves snapped together   
at my touch.
                       All my life
I’ve held books in my hands
like children, carefully turning
their pages and straightening out   
their creases. I use books
almost apologetically. I believe
I often think their thoughts for them.   
Reading, I never know where theirs leave off   
and mine begin. I am so much alone   
in the world, I can observe the stars   
or study the breeze, I can count the steps   
on a stair on the way up or down,   
and I can look at another human being   
and get a smile, knowing
it is for the sake of politeness.
Nothing must be said of estrangement   
among the human race and yet
nothing is said at all
because of that.
But no book will help either.
I stroke my desk,
its wood so smooth, so patient and still.   
I set a typewriter on its surface
and begin to type
to tell myself my troubles.
Against the evidence, I live by choice.



THE WAY OUT (an excerpt)
The night is covered with signs. The body and face of man,
with signs, and his journeys.     Where the rock is split
and speaks to the water;     the flame speaks to the cloud;
the red splatter, abstraction, on the door
speaks to the angel and the constellations.
The grains of sand on the sea-floor speak at last to the noon.
And the loud hammering of the land behind
speaks ringing up the bones of our thighs, the hoofs,
we hear the hoofs over the seethe of the sea.
All night down the centuries, have heard, music of passage.
Music of one child carried into the desert;
firstborn forbidden by law of the pyramid.
Drawn through the water with the water-drawn people
led by the water-drawn man to the smoke mountain.
The voice of the world speaking, the world covered by signs,
the burning, the loving, the speaking, the opening.
Strong throat of sound from the smoking mountain.
Still flame, the spoken singing of a young child.
The meaning beginning to move, which is the song.
Music of those who have walked out of slavery.
Into that journey where all things speak to all things
refusing to accept the curse, and taking
for signs the signs of all things, the world, the body
which is part of the soul, and speaks to the world,
all creation being created in one image, creation.
This is not the past walking into the future,
the walk is painful, into the present, the dance
not visible as dance until much later.
These dancers are discoverers of God.
 . . . . 
(Read the rest of this amazing poem, and listen to the poet's recording HERE.)

I spied everything. The North Dakota license,
the “Baby on Board” signs, dead raccoons, and deer carcasses.
The Garfields clinging to car windows—the musky traces of old coffee.
I was single-minded in the buzz saw tour I took through
the flatlands of the country to get home. I just wanted to get there.
Never mind the antecedent. I had lost stations miles ago
and was living on cassettes and caffeine. Ahead, brushstrokes
of smoke from annual fires. Only ahead to the last days of summer
and to the dying theme of youth. How pitch-perfect
the tire-on-shoulder sound was to mask the hiss of the tape deck ribbons.
Everything. Perfect. As Wyoming collapses over the car
like a wave. And then another mile marker. Another.
How can I say this more clearly? It was like opening a heavy book,
letting the pages feather themselves and finding a dried flower.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community.
(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ the Wall.)


  1. Good morning! Today is a brand new day. I'm looking forward to seeing you, Poets United. Have a great week.

  2. Happy and creative Wednesday to all

    much love...

  3. Am away from home today and doing a road trip with my sister, so am not sure if i will have time to think of a poem. But will be back to read all of yours. Mine would likely list all the evidence of climate change, clues the governments and multinationals choose to ignore, a poem i have written at least fifty times. Lol.

  4. I managed a quick one, will be back to read later.

  5. Something dark. Have a good week you all.

  6. Glad to have made it here this week. :-)

  7. Happy Wednesday, and thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Good Evening, Poets! Thanks, Susan, for the intriguing post! Happy Wednesday, all!

  9. Just love the David Ignatow poem. Thank you for an interesting prompt and intro to other poets (unknown by me)

  10. Sara McNulty--I can't figure out how to leave a comment on your site: I love the twist on the end!

  11. Sorry Sara, I couldn't comment on your post. It's a good one.


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