Day 23: Let It Bleed

No serious bloodshed, just poppies in images and rock’n’roll in words, as spurred on by a fellow poet.

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Prompt 23: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another.” 

I have read poems on many fascinating subjects this April, such as artichokes, cassettes, heartfelt childhood memories and cat surveillance (to name but a few, I love so many of my fellow poets!), but the greatest stir came yesterday by way of Angela van Son and her Illumination. She has been working really hard this month and I love many of her daily offerings. Yesterday’s was something else. I hope she won’t mind if I repeat it here in full:

Illumination, by Angela van Son

When I find myself
In troubled times
Mother Mary comes to me
She speaks words of wisdom
Let it bleed

She says that this poem has at least three different meanings, and if you go to her blog and look at the accompanying art, you may find them all, but to me it provides an instant happiness boost since it so unapologetically and some would say criminally combines two of the greatest, The Beatles and The Stones.

So I decided that the world needs more fun in this direction. Here is my cento with nothing but lyrics by either one or the other.

Let It Bleed

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces 
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say:

“Don’t play with me 
Cause you’re playing with fire”
He likes to keep 
His fire engine clean
It’s a clean machine

War, children 
It’s just a shot away
I tell you love, sister 
It’s just a kiss away
It’s all you need

I see my red door 
I must have it painted 
Blackbird singing
In the dead of night
I should be sleeping like a log

My love will laugh with me 
Before the morning 
Comes the sun
And I say
It’s all right

You can’t always get 
What you want
But if you try 
Sometimes you just might find
Love is all you need

The Beatles: All You Need Is Love, Blackbird, A Hard Day’s Night, Here Comes the Sun, Penny Lane, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

The Rolling Stones: As Tears Go By, Gimme Shelter, Let It Bleed (title only), Paint It Black, Play With Fire, You Can’t Always Get What You Want


Here is the best kind of bleeding: some latest poppy photos from around the corner.

For:

NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with black background

This day in my NaPoWriMo history (2019): 

Oh my dog

I talk to you.
Probably I never talked to anybody  
as much as I talk to you.
You are here and I am here
and we have each other to talk to.

Sometimes I drive with you in the back
and it’s stressful enough
to drive around Rome
but then I have to park too
so I offer it to you, this part.
You seem so fresh
and eager.

You always wish to take my worries away,
melt my sorrow,
lick my wounds.
Especially the ones you caused.

I started explaining to you  
when you were little
what would happen next,
where we were going,
who was coming over,
so now you count on it.

For your birthday
my mother wrote you a poem.
Not a poem, a rap, she is a rapper.
And you were staring into the speakers
as my mom was rapping,
alert, without a move,
fully confident that it was for you.

I tried many things when you were little:
showing you five fingers  
for a five-minute wait,
both hands for ten,
and both hands twice for twenty,
and if I did this last
you lied down
because clearly the wait would be long.

I hid behind a tree  
for you to find me.
I waited for quite a while
and then you came strolling by
from the other side
as if asking:  
“Coming?”

The way you find things  
I lose.
I started to count on that.
The last time was a button
by the road.
Before doing the same walk the next day
I showed you the remaining buttons on my coat,
looked into your eyes
and said:
“See? One is missing.
Will you find it for me?”

And we walked to the station.
I looked down left and right,
and thought it impossible
to find that button again
and grew discouraged
and stopped looking,
but then you stopped
to smell a dandelion
and what was there next to it
if not my button?

And I laughed
and cheered
and hugged you
and you showed surprise again:
“What did I do?”
You do.  
Keep doing what you do
so well.
Live.
Love.
Smell the dandelions.

24 thoughts on “Day 23: Let It Bleed

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