So, the first prompt from the nice people at the National Poetry Writing Month website was as follows:
“Way back in the 1600s, when you couldn’t walk ten feet in London without hitting a poet with some serious chops, “carpe diem” poems were a popular item. The one that first springs to my mind is Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress, in which the poet entreats his lady-love not to be a tease, because we’ll all be dead soon enough, and if she dies without smooching Andrew Marvell, well, that would just be terrible. I’m not sure if it succeeded as a seduction technique, but wit and joy pervades Marvell’s poem, despite its grim implications.
So in honor of the first day of NaPoWriMo, and Marvell’s observation that “though we cannot make our sun/Stand still, yet we will make him run,” I challenge you to seize the day with a “carpe diem” poem of your very own. This could be in the sassy, seductive vein, a la Marvell, or if you aren’t feeling sassy, there’s always the option of a spooky, contemplative poem.”
So, I guess I decided to talk about “carpe-ing diem” in a directly parodic way, given that the first thing that came to mind when I thought about Marvell’s poem was a pun of the title. So, while I’m not sure if this ACTUALLY qualifies as a “seize the day” joint, it’s close enough, in my opinion. Without any further ado, I present:
To His Koi Fishes
Had we but pond enough, and time
To keep it clean, and free from slime;
We would sit by its edge each day
And watch the little fishes play.
They, by the tiny castle’s side,
Would float and swim. We’d open wide
Our mouths and guzzle beer. How good
‘Twould be to sit by shady wood
And catch a buzz and then peruse
Giant goldfish on pleasure cruise.
The vegetable life should grow
As kelp and algae does, and show
An hundred fronds which form a maze
In which the Koi could live and graze.
Two hundred tadpoles, there would nest
By thirty thousand dollars blessed
With home, perfect in every part,
No predators from which to dart.
For them, AND us, it would be great;
But thirty grand is quite a rate.
For every month I always hear
The bills and rent hurrying near,
And yonder, just before me lie
My student loans. Eternity
Might pass before I will have found
A way to make finances sound
And buy a pond. Then worms shall try
To move in and freeload on my
Investment, and be sorely cussed,
Those slimy things, for making rust
The pipes and pump which I had placed
To keep my Koi ensconced with taste.
Now, therefore, were it to come true,
I had the loot to do the do,
And own a Koi pond that inspires
At every pore, desires
To drink Budweisers during May,
And shoot, with BB’s, birds of prey
Who would, if given chance, devour
My goldfish from their ivory tower,
How disappointing would be fall
And winter. Because, after all,
When bitter cold cuts like a knife,
Who wants to have to deal, in strife,
With cleaning up a pond? Not one.
Thus ends my Koi ‘fore they’ve begun.
My creation for the day is made up of considerably less effort than Señor Yodi, but I found the ‘carpe diem’ prompt a tad difficult to embrace entirely. Guess I wound up going for spooky, contemplative. Here goes…
April Hogwash Day
I am becoming, in fact, some delusional wolf
Watching Kafka disregard the youngins, aloof is aloof is aloof.
Some days we rest and relax, some days we pass gas
Some days are worth taking, some days are unrelenting.
Simmering in hostility, grounded in love
Burning bridges is a skill like a beetle is a bug.
Some hearts will remain flattered, others battered and bruised
El mío tiene cojones, mi reina, that don’t mean I ain’t confused.
That’s why every day I sit and I gaze, I converse and I praise, I fault and amaze
Por si acaso me alboroto, chingao, y me convierto en ideólogo.