Today’s prompt is inspired by a poem I wrote in response to the fires that ravaged Northern California, October 2017 and to the devastation throughout the world.
The sentiments seem true today, especially “adjusting to a new normal” and the feelings of frustration, anger, and hope.
October 10, 2017
by Marlene Cullen
Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Santa Rosa will never be the same.
Las Vegas concert goers will never be the same.
Hurricane victims will never be the same.
This City, That City . . . the list too long.
new ways of thinking
frustrated with nature
angry with wrong-doers
angry with bureaucracy
angry in general
now we know what we don’t want to know
the unimaginable can happen
there are no guarantees
what will we take away
what have we learned
what do we need
we need time to process
we know the five-year drought
and the heavy rains
made tinder that caught sparks
fueled by heavy winds
creating flying embers
but the why lingers—why this devastation
our beautiful Northern California landscape
disfigured by ash and rubble
looks like war was fought
in its yards and parks and on its hillsides
this scarring of the earth
the inconceivable, unthinkable
how can so many people lose everything
I am affected emotionally and spiritually
I have my house, my belongings
but do I have my right mind
tears spill down weary cheeks
we carry on, adjusting to a new normal
trying to make sense of that
which cannot be understood
there is the before
and now—the after
the camaraderie and sense of community
the amazing goodness of people
my writing partner asks if I’m okay
I answer, no, but I will be
Writing Prompt: Write about the mood or theme of the poem, a stanza, a line, a word. Just start writing and follow whatever comes up for you.
“October 10, 2017” was published in Phoenix Out of Silence . . . And Then. Redwood Writers 2018 Poetry Anthology, edited by Les Bernstein and Fran Claggett-Holland. Available through Amazon.