So, this is the kind of poem you only put out into the world if you’re sharing process, like….NaPoWriMo. Not any good, really. But as the gifted poet Richard Murphy once told me, if you DO end up w/ a poem that seems to spring fully grown, beautifully formed, & damn near perfect, from you in one sitting, it’s because you applied your butt to a chair for DAYS. And ‘wrote the shit out.’ And yes: that’s a direct quote.

This is part of the ‘writing it out’ routine… The prompt was as follows:

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). One of the most popular British works of classical music is Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The “enigma” of the title is widely believed to be a hidden melody that is not actually played, but which is tucked somehow into the composition through counterpoint. Today I’d like you to take some inspiration from Elgar and write a poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly. The poem should function as a sort of riddle, but not necessarily a riddle of the “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” variety. You could choose a word, for example, “yellow,” and make everything in the poem something yellow, but never actually allude to their color. Or perhaps you could closely describe a famous physical location or person without ever mentioning what or who it actually is.

I’d like to blame the poem’s lackluster dullness on the prompt, but … Nah. It’s me. Here goes:

Inside the shell
Within the curl of pearl
Recurve of sound
Like a bow
That shoots no arrow
Or a harp string
Tuned to the tide
Each chamber
Of the spiral
Holding secrets
Caught within
Translucent walls