Project “Poem on a Postcard”

I realise that I update this blog so little nowadays, and I sometimes get chided by friends about it: “why don’t you post more often?”, they ask. Well, the answer is, as always, that there is work to be done, life to be reckoned with. But that’s not good enough, when the monotony of dealing with “important stuff” gets in the way of me doing some of the things I enjoy most. So I’ve spontaneously decided to start a little project for the sake of some healthy variety and, so help me Cthulhu, I intend to stick to it! You all probably know of the now traditional NaPoWriMo, which challenges poets to write one poem every day for a whole month, and that month is April. I’ve participated in NaPoWriMo for a few consecutive years now, and I intend to do so this year as well. But in addition to that, I’ve decided to do one poem a day for the whole of March, too. The particulars, in this case, will be that the poem must be written directly on a postcard, with as few corrections as possible. So, for every day of this month I will scan or photograph and then post here my postcard of choice, the poem I will have written on the back and, for the sake of legibility, its transcription. Wish me luck! Thoughts and feedback very welcome, as always. I will also take suggestions as to how to improve this little project of mine, and make it more challenging and exciting, so please fire away!

Without further ado then, here is my “poem on a postcard” for the day:

Image (55)Image (56)

The Swans of Brugge

Think of the Beguines, naked
under the boneless wings
of their cloaks,
diluting their youth with incense
in the space of two dozen steps
to the chapel and then back
to solitude.

Think of the shape of their lips
at night, as they elongate
and harden, as they melt
into the feathers of their foreheads,
no more mouths but beaks.

Think of the swans diving at midnight,
breaking the ghosts of lamps
on the dark canals,
sating their hunger on drowned lovers
at the bottom.

(Note: WordPress doesn’t seem to have liked the formatting of my poem, and as a consequence it doesn’t display it correctly. I’ll try to see if I can fix that in the future.)

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