Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

get listed for February: Absent

Abandoned, near Barker's Dam, Joshua Tree National Park

Been traveling.

In the last month I've flipped the page to 50, and travelled (were I a crow) over 10,500 miles, successively: home, Miami (work), home, Tucson and Palm Springs (friends), home, New Orleans (work), home, and Joshua Tree (son's 16th birthday). Now home for another 5 weeks, before Atlanta calls (work).

King of Smores. Age 16.

Hence, radio silence.

Met some interesting folk along the way, got stuck in Houston when United Airlines blah blah blah, saw some very cool rocks, gained 10 pounds (have you had a beignet?), sat in the desert to utter, utter quiet, when one can hear blood pumping, birds mutually sing from across a mesa, and wonder where the background hum of vehicular traffic went and how we ever let the skies lighten to blank the stars and cars dampen birdsong and roads be built to cross the desert - ironic, since that's how I got there.

(By the by - if it's on your bucket list, get to Joshua Tree National Park sooner rather than later. Climate change and decreasing rainfall spell a grim future; current estimates are that the park will be barren of its namesake by mid-century - extinct by drought. Of course, Miami and Nola might well be under water by then, too. Pack light; it's warm there.)


So, this is breakfast in Houston.


Beignets. At NOLA airport!














Saw the Ganymede moons floating near Jupiter magnified 280x through a telescope at an observatory outside 29 Palms; flying beads from a float in the French Quarter; geodes 3 meters tall at the Tucson gem show; dancing girls at a street restaurant in South Beach; but not my own bed on a Saturday night for a month, and I'm glad that's where I'll be this weekend.

If it were anywhere but New Orleans, this would be creepy.


Did I mention dinosaurs? Hwy 62.

Campsite 101, Hidden Cove, Joshua Tree


















This month's get listed word choices arose from pondering while sitting in a flying bus at 35,000 feet. I got to thinking how close yet how far some words are, and started thinking of pairs that share a root, as it were, but not necessarily a sense. So not tense/intense, which are closely related, but... well, these:

miss / remiss
deem / redeem
wager / dowager
pulse / repulse
file / defile
peat / repeat
sent / absent

Your challenge is to select at least 2 of these pairs - or come up with a pair of pairs of your own, words that share common spelling but not common meaning - and weave them into a *new* poem, however you please.

As a reminder, please post the link directly to your pen (and not just to your blog page) in Mr. Linky below, and then revisit often in the coming days to read (and hopefully comment on) your fellow poets' work.

I'll be around later in the week; if it takes a bit to compose your piece, feel free to link up to The Tuesday Platform next week.

Looking forward to rejoining the garden, for a bit. Thanks for coming by.

~ M

Babyface Nelson, the Hotel Congress, Tucson


(note - all images copyright 2015 by author)

20 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm officially green with envy.. what amazing opportunities you have had to travel across your remarkable continent. Welcome to the ranks of the 5-0's.

hedgewitch said...

Quite a grueling regimen, but one I'm sure that was worth every white-knuckle highway encounter and bead of sweat. A great concept you have given us here, M--I'm off to see if I can have some fun with it, and congrats on #50.

Björn Rudberg said...

Congratulations Michael .. 50 was a great age to pass. I was in Joshua Tree many years ago when I lived in Phoenix, I recall it was one of mane many fantastic places in the area. But I think it was scorching hot then too.. Love the concept, and will see what I will come up with... :-)

Hannah said...

Super interesting post and challenge idea...thank you, for sharing and inspiring, M!

Jazzbumpa said...

I think I probably punted, but it's better than nothing.

Cheers!
JzB

Margaret said...

I'll give this a whirl on Friday. I think you've been to some pretty amazing places!

Kenia Cris said...

Am late but will be part of it, of course Michael. <3

Outlawyer said...

Hey Michael--it looks beautiful and my sympathy re the pounds. k.

humbird said...

Happy another 50! Way to live travelling along!

Marian said...

Cool post, cool list! Working on it. Happy Birthday! Did you have beignets & coffee with chicory at Cafe du Monde? Happy everything! Except climate change. Not that.
Happy Friday! xo

Powell River Books said...

I agree with you about Joshua Tree. We went there fairly frequently when we lived in the Los Angeles area. It is a great spot for star gazing away from heavy light pollution. Thanks for stopping by to comment on my blog. - Margy

Susan said...

Ah, Joshua Tree! I have fond memories of the heat and landscape. Happy 50. You'll feel exactly as if you were in your 40s if you don't think about it. I rarely respond to word list prompts, but found this one intriguing. Thanks!

angieinspired said...

Yikes! I posted away from home and botched my Mr. Linky thing. Sorry. Hope it doesn't deter you from reading.

Margaret said...

Submitted a bit late - sat at my computer for quite a while thinking I had nothing (as I usually do) But, your word list finally got the creative juices flowing. I'm almost 50 too… a few more months left of 49…

Jim said...

Nice, clever, and challenging, Michael. Too bad I'm not writing right now. Sounds like fun.

I hope you could leave he airport at Houston, really we have a nice place here. There was a very nice Mardi Gras 40 miles south in Galveston (Texas). Back for a while when I was teaching I would take my Phi Beta Lambda (national college business fraternity) students down, we had an entry for the Houdah Crew's parade.

You didn't see any hills but we have them up here, 50 miles north at Montgomery (Texas).
..

Jim said...

Sorry I'm so late, but after I read Margaret's nice poem I felt 'inspired'. It was a fun write, probably will have to post it Tuesday for more readers.

Thank you. Next time you are stranded in Houston, "call me".
..

Ella said...

Happy Beignet! ;D
I am jealous- Being a military spouse I miss the freedom of hitting the open road, camping and seeing the country~
And Joshua Tree-what a great b-day for your son!

I'm late to the party-sorry. We have been fighting record breaking temps in my neck of the woods and power outages.

I am in the 50 club-welcome!

Gail said...

Not a poem today but an apology. I have reached winter-mortis.

Marian said...

Is it a race to see who posts last? I am a contendah!

Lolamouse said...

Submitted a two-fer for this challenge and the weekend challenge. Hope that's ok!