Thursday, June 18, 2015

Word & Question (Poem Draft)

So this is an entry for Enbrethiliel's Word & Question Game, in which people send in a word and a question, and then they get mixed up and sent out to different people as poem prompts. I confess I hadn't the faintest idea what to do with the word. Had I been fancy-fancy I would have done something with the original bundok, but mixing in Tagalog and answering the question and using the word 'boondocks' all at once is a bit beyond my minor poetic powers. I also had the difficulty that 'boondocks' is a word that almost demands a poem with sharp edges, but the words for answering the question kept settling down in less spiky ways, giving the whole, I think something of a discordant tone. But I might eventually do something with the last bit of it.

Word: Boondocks
Question: Have we been here before?

The streams through hollow hills,
cold and softly shushing in the night,
like roads through giant's halls
not yet touched by dawning of the light;
yes, some have known these things,
though never televised.

I saw upon the screen
a thousand stars at night;
and heard the screech-owl's scream
and recorded catbird's note.

Dust and bur beneath bare soles,
a fish fresh-caught from by the quay,
sunset setting down its seal
upon the letter of the day:
you cannot learn these things
from what is televised.

The illusion that one knows:
that is the city life;
knowing about, as from the news,
but not here with hate and love.

In the boondocks one learns one's will,
for better or for worse,
and, too, one's limits like a wall,
and how to stay the course,
and the presence of the thing
that stays untelevised.

In a box of walls with pride
we account us worldly-wise
who've never in dust prayed
or felt the world's own ways.

We walked, both you and I,
down a road as yet unpaved;
it was known, I know not why,
and yet unknown, like life unproved;

we walked where only deer
knew the paths that came and went,
felt what wonder we could dare,
and the pull of aching want,

we walked upon the leaves
falling on the forest floor,
knew them like old loves,
though we were never here before,

and felt the shock, the sheer surprise,
of what goes untelevised.


  1. Enbrethiliel8:46 AM


    Can you tell that "boondocks" came from me? ;-) I guess it's a fair trade for "mockingbird"--LOL! Just wondering: would "boonies" have been easier for you?

    This may be ironic, given that your poem is about the difference between real experience and something given to us by media; but when I first read it, I didn't feel I had quite grasped it . . . and when I came back to read it again, I happened to have some music on (an operatic cover--with Italian lyrics!--of I Don't Want to Miss a Thing), and the music suddenly made it come alive! It was indeed a "shock" and "sheer surprise"--but it was hardly the musical equivalent of "untelevised." (Ah, I'm just being a town mouse again . . .)

  2. branemrys9:21 AM

    I guessed it! :-) I don't know that 'boonies' would have been easier.

    You really are on an Il Volo kick recently, aren't you?

  3. Enbrethiliel11:06 PM


    You have no idea . . .


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