A friend of mine was kind enough to give me a free ticket to this year's Authorfest of the Rockies, an annual conference hosted at the Cliff House in Manitou Springs. So, off I went, to break up my day of grading. I sat in on a craft talk held by Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Trommer, and Rosemerry had several three minute prompts for the audience to do while we picked up the discussion on writing and discovery. I thought I'd share my poem from one of those prompts, mostly so I could tell you how fantastic Rosemerry is (and Art! though I didn't get to chat with him as much), how tuned in to discovery, intellect, theory, and spirituality she is (or, at least, that's my opinion after a forty-five minute discussion). And the Sanskrit she chanted at the beginning? She's even got a lovely voice. The whole package. Check out their stuff.
Anyway. The group was prompted by the first line of Cavafy's "Ithaca" (which reads "When you set out on your journey to Ithaca..."). Art and Rosemerry both the read the piece to us, lending it two contrasting personalities. Rosemerry's was artistically cautionary and full of awe (you better see all the beauty) and Art's was excited and almost shocked (dude! you've GOT to see all this beauty!).
We had three minutes to write, something I think I'll use in the future; by having such a small amount of time, your mind doesn't focus on its familiar, favorite obstacles. It gets to the point. Also, it lets you get more done, which means you can go home with a notebook full of possibilities. Go!
JOURNEY TO ITHACA: SOME EXTRA ADVICE
Men, do not bother packing extra clothes.
You will not wear even your traveling gear long,
nymphs line the path like lanterns
with no one to chase their gold shadows.
Women, wear all the clothes you own in layers.
Unfastening one button pulling one string
can mean the difference between drowning
and crossing the flood on the shoulders of a Cyclops.