Day 18: Dragons and wolves

The title of my poem is Please don’t understand, and that’s why it is in Slovenian. Don’t worry, English version included. In the photos appear descendants of dragons and wolves from the last month.

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Prompt 18: “Write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.” 

I was already impressed with the word chpater and thought it was there on purpose. Then I had a look through her chpater titles and this one caught my eye: Please don’t understand. I was able to read this chpater in full and was duly further impressed. Two lines from it I use in my poem with thanks. They appear in quotations.

Just before posting, as the last stroke of genius (hehe), I realised that in order to not be understood, the poem must be in my language, Slovenian. But I’m good at heart so I add the English original as written.

Please don’t understand

Odidi, kot si prišel.
Jama je zadosti velika
za zmaje in vse ostalo.
Živijo v svetlobi
in ne prenesejo teme.
“Delaj se, da si volk, ki piše.”
Volk lahko vidi v noči
in si verjetno misli:
“Svetloba je zadnje, kar potrebujemo.”
Razumeti
in biti razumljen
sta težki bremeni.
Prepusti ju zmajem.
Prosim, ne razumi  

Leave as you came in.
The cave is big enough
for dragons and all the rest.
They live in the light
and cannot stand the darkness.
“Pretend you’re a wolf, writing.”
The wolf can see in the night
and probably thinks:
“Light is the last thing we need.”
To understand 
and to be understood 
are heavy burdens.
Leave them to dragons.

Here is an assortment of descendants of dragons and wolves, if you believe it. The photos were taken this past month in the radius where I walk my dog to visit all the beasts, only the last is from the splendid stroll along the southern Tuscany border from this Tuesday.

For:

NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with black background

This day in my NaPoWriMo history (2019): An elegy for a shoe

To the other classic cream low top All Star  

The day I discovered the planet was getting rid of us,
I was standing in the Soča river
trying not to die.

The river does not care for our survival instinct.
The river will be here after we are long gone
and will not be particularly sorry.

We had been teasing her all day.
Four of us in a military rubber boat with a thin floor,
brazing the rapids.

I was kneeling in the middle of the boat,
mindful of the rocks under my knees,
announcing swirls and waterfalls.

It was exactly what tourists are advised against.
But we were locals, sort of, from the capital,
and the river was our playground.

This sounds like we were ten.
Actually it was more like  
twenty-five.

When the rapids were done with,
I, adrenalin-crazed but unharmed,
jumped into the gloriously fresh, crystal-clear Soča.

I filled a big bottle with it to take home
and drink it in the capital.
It felt so decadent.

Then I swam to where she ran faster.
And faster.
I saw a rock that looked stable.

I stepped on it -
and the river swept me along.
Just how we'll all be in time.

I felt my shoe slide off, tied and all.
I got angry underwater.
Oh no you won’t.

I gathered my strength,
pulled myself to the side where the flow was weaker
and breathed.

You didn’t get me  
this time.
But you got my shoe.

I took the bottle home
and wrote SOČA on it with big letters
and drank from it for a week.

I hung the other shoe in my living-room
for all to see,
but mostly for me.

“Enjoy life,”
the shoe was saying.
“It’s slipping away one shoe at a time.

Just don’t be a bitch about it.
Don’t grab and take  
and think the world is here for your amusement

when obviously it’s the other way around.”

23 thoughts on “Day 18: Dragons and wolves

  1. Ah, brilliant! An almost mystical reflection on meaning-making and communication. It’s impressive how many conceptual puzzle piece you bring together here, even the chpater typo in the prompt. Fabulous touch to swap the titles of the Slovenian and English versions of the poem. And to name your canine portrait subjects as dragons and wolves, or their descendants. You capture their wolfy, dragony essence with such vibrancy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The last three lines had me do a spontaneous translation into my mother tongue Kiswahili and I thought they would fit perfectly on our traditional cotton fabric, the Kanga or Khanga. The Kanga is usually with printed words to convey a message or celebrate an important event. It would read “Kuelewa na kueleweka ni mzigo mzito. Waachie mizimu.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, how glorious is that, Gloria! Thank you so much! Is it the last four lines? Or the penultimate three lines without the dragons in the last line? 🙂 It makes me happy to know that you automatically translated it into your mother tongue.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s such a clever way to write a poem…and drive the title home. The puzzle in the image drive’s one’s curiosity further and then finally the poem in English. Lovely idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. But I did understand both 😉 ! I don’t speak Slovenian, sadly, but I understand almost everything. A beautiful poem and there are dragons and wolves in it, which is lovely. I have a miniature Ljubljana dragon somewhere in my souvenir collection.
    I have to buy that book with prompts, it is great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nataša. Yes you can, because you cheat by being a Slav! 😉 I have just such a dragon here in Tuscany as a fridge magnet. Yes, I agree, the book looks marvellous and I was happy to see that you chose the same chapter title for your two poems.

      Like

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