07 July 2010

Spirited Road Trip

A flashback heightens my chest, laughing
as we head down MT 12 east toward my hometown.
A billboard, that fisher of men, tells stories of Jesus and Truth
(corporate church folk mining our spirits, conjuring).
Back in Straw listening to Strange Angels
wind rushed through my chest
in a house with no walls
my eyes moved miles across the Big Sky.
Rivers of clouds passed time before a low hanging sun
as everything yellowed eerie and strange
anticipating the tornado that took Hugo’s
sheep— Fourth of July in ‘71, the morning
he fashioned a lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir
breaking down his despair with love, (story of my life).
Later, twirling ewes slammed into my backyard, freakish fireworks.
Today, frogs fall sideways from nowhere, slapping our windshield
as we finish our weekend lost in ghost towns
exploring Montana’s past.

A prompt and a road trip generated this interesting piece. Shout out to Mallery, over at We Write Poems for this prompt with specific instructions for each line.

1. A feeling
2. Observe the scenery of your immediate surroundings
3. Personification of an inanimate object
4. Use a metaphor
5. Spend four lines recalling a prominent memory
6. Use symbolism in a statement
7. Associate some form of weather to the feeling in #1
8. Tell a lie, about anything
9. Make a reference to a holiday or season
10. State a fact about a favorite artist or poet
11. Compare yourself to a specific piece from the artist/poet you used in #10
12. Negate the lie you told in #8, or further support or restate it
13. Describe a daydream or parts of a dream you’ve had
14. For the last two lines, refer to a vacationing location

The poet I refer (and included in my lie) is Richard Hugo. Hugo was a Montana poet who passed in ’83. I used two of his pieces as inspiration. The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir, and The River Now. I’ve included a picture of the billboard I personified, we saw it on our way home from a great road trip Sunday. It made me laugh so hard that we turned around and went back for this picture.

John Trudell deserves mention, as well. His work, DNA, is downloaded on my iPod, we listened to him off and on through our travels over the weekend. Trudell talks about people and spirits being mined in different ways. His work inspires me.


Julie Jordan Scott said...

Oh, how I love Montana and ohhhh how I love this poem! Exceptional... (this prompt worked wonders, didn't it?)

00dozo said...

Nice piece! That billboard is hilarious!!!

brenda w said...

Thanks Julie, I love Montana, too. I've been out and about, and will go take a gander at the work of others now! You've heightened my interest.

OOdozo-Always nice to see you. :-) Abut the billboard: I know, right!? That things had us laughing so hard.

Diane T said...

What a wonderful poem, Brenda. I love how you have remembered as far back as '71. It is amazing what they put on billboards, isn't it?

Mary said...

Brenda, your poem is definitely inspired. The prompt WORKED for many of us. I do like very much how you localize your poetry, make your poems alive for readers.

flaubert said...

I love how you have taken this prompt and turned it into quite the story!

Stan Ski said...

?Great flashback - and that billboard...!

Derrick said...

A vivid trip. I felt I was tagging along!

Everyday Goddess said...

wow, those are specific prompts! great work!

my friends were just in MT and experienced quite a hale storm ~ wild!

barbara said...

Whoeee! frog falls. a Fortean Fourth of July.

That's a great billboard. may have to steal it.

Jingle said...

lovely trip!

Jingle said...


Friendship awards.
Enjoy some!