Prompt Eleven (managed to use 6 words of 10)

For How Long?

Pricked by the needle of a pandemic,
society sequestered – periwinkle
skies above each skyscraper, like
salient exclamation marks, signalling
just how much our air needed purifying

Fewer cars, to none, meant the earth
could inhale, could beat her heart loudly –
could watch the cloud of consumption
dissipate, if only for a moment

To spread her mountain wings in their full
glory, and holler to the seas and back again:
“I am here!”

But how long will we listen?
How long will we see?
How long will we care?

(Cristy Watson, 2021)

Prompt Ten

New Year’s Day, 2021

Still sequestered
no hope on the horizon –
like living in the Yukon
in the deep of winter

night bleeds into days
and days
and days

two
hundred
and
seventy
five
days

of zooming into other
people’s homes –
virtual embraces

outside –
the half-masked smiles
of strangers

sanity, barely threading
its way through our minds
barely hanging on
barely breathing

but

July promises possibilities,
a summer festival –
a veritable feast for those
hungry for contact

forage on from the
summer solstice
of the Yukon’s
midnight sun –
banish darkness
to the outer realms

touch hope
again, and again
and again
to be sure
it’s real

‘Should old acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind…’

(Cristy Watson, 2021)

Prompt Eight (love this one but still off-theme)

no more than a cubicle

you talked to the chair, the table, the door –
you had to, out of necessity, because that was
all there was

you thought the world was just this big,
and nothing more beyond it

nightmares penetrated your dreams when you
were forced to sleep in the closet

feral-like in this non-wilderness –
crayons lined up for protection

symbiosis of love between mother and son
… enough

but freedom –
a foreign word

(Plot of ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue)

Cristy Watson, 2021

Prompt Seven: (Used Image for prompt and went off theme for this one)


this house

your front door, blue –
hers, purple –
mine, green –

but they open onto
us, just the same

behind this door, you care for
a newborn (tears from lack of
sleep – yours, not the child’s)

behind that door, she cares for
a grandmother (spotted hands
crinkling into smooth ones)

behind another other door, i care for
my best friend (multiple myeloma
filling his marrow)

larcrimal fluids spilling forth,
just the same

erythrocytes flowing through
us, just the same

hematopoietic cells filling
us, just the same

poetry elevates and renews us,
just the same

…common denominators

(Cristy Watson, 2021 – I used the image for this prompt)

Prompt Six (Halfway mark for the half – working it!)

Going Forward

This new pace – to embrace it slowly,
with the care of experience and wisdom?

Or bring forth the wild abandonment of youth –
carry it with me into tomorrow?

… tomorrow being a different rhythm
from yesterday.

Perhaps, dancing forward with a salsa
or meringue in my step?

A pause to catch my reflection (seeing the
possibilities) and then

gliding on with renewed fervor – not
slowing down and waiting for the

years to add up/
add on

but calling out to them and saying,
“Join me, now! There is much to see.”

Prompt Five (stretching to make this one fit the theme of my retirement and next steps)

Inspiration in the Peonies

Time-capsule – uprooted with dandelions, clover, and thistle –
lifting the cap as if twisting the cork on a bottle of champagne

Ripples along the flesh – a letter – like finding a bottle
washed up along the shores of Kye Bay

‘Dear Future Self,’ it begins – the first line resonating, wrenches
in the heart; rustlings of memory and hope

(the way you would start your keepsake)

‘I’m sorry for the lost time – the possibilities not pursued
the dreams dashed against the rocks; fear gripped

too many of my steps, and I floundered, forever stuck
in this place; this space… wishing.

If you find this: SING widely, DANCE freely, WRITE lavishly,
SPEAK wisely and open doors – walk through them fiercely –

grow yourself like glacier lilies, mountain heather and artic lupine:
make yourself a bouquet to daily grace your table.

Thrive, thrive, thrive and do not go gently.’

(Cristy Watson, 2021)

Prompt Four (still keeping with a theme…)

The Stage Set

Maybe we could eat blackberries together
now that my days will sprawl into tomorrows with
the ease of a cat, jumping from rooftop to rooftop

Maybe we could dance under a marmalade moon,
harvested with songs of the past, twirling
into twilight’s meandering hours

maybe we could lounge on the beach, the tide
washing over our toes until the other side of the noon
sun brings siestas and spirited dreams

Maybe this could be the next scene, the opening
act of the final play – the stage set –
if only just for one

The first line for this poem is taken from the last line of my first published novel, Benched (Cristy Watson, Orca Book Publishers, Victoria, 2011)

Prompt Three (pulling threads from one and two)

tomorrow

sheets of azure, an open canvas
writing my words on the wind
watching them waft towards new worlds –
standing on the cusp of myself

swells of liquid teal, swimming the depths
of imagination – reeds of metaphor
swaying like seaweed beds of simile –
standing on the cusp of myself

forest paths – taken and… not; nuanced needles
of cedar, pine, juniper and yew; fronds of fiddleheads
curled like foundling letters on the page –
standing on the cusp of myself

writing a different story for the days to come:
the kite set free, its string bobbing along the surface
of the sea, finding refuge in an auspicious bower –
on the cusp of myself, standing tall

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