poetic journeys: the far off world

The Far Off World

Windows opened onto
orange trees in
half-ruined buildings,
built to repel the world.
Desert flamingos,
a color of dark mustard,
stood at one end.
The air was filled with the smell,
of kif, dried fruits and fig jam.

Sand was blowing about
and they sat, listening to
precarious voices.
They had no idea what to say.
The world was close and far off
and the guitar fell silent.
They looked for the moon
and didn’t find it.
The facts were stifling them.

Found poem, from Lawrence Osborne’s The Forgiven. New York: Hogarth, 2012, 2013. Print


Orange tree in El Khorbat


ruins in Tinghir, Morocco


“POETRY” Invitation: I invite you to write a poem of any poetic form on your own blog about a particular travel destination. Or you can write about travel in general. Concentrate on any intention you set for your poetry.

During this time of isolation and social distancing, please feel free to write poetry about any subject, whether travel-related or not.  I’d love to read and share them here!

One intention for my trip to Morocco was to write a Cento, or Patchwork, poem, using either a poem by a Moroccan poet or a book I read to prepare for my Morocco trip.  Unite lines from that author’s work.  The new poem must find a new meaning that is not similar to the original poem.

The Cento can also come from a passage of prose, where you keep the lines in the same order or rearrange them; it’s important to make your own rules and then not break them.  Centos can be rhymed or unrhymed, short or long.  The poem should be casually cited, but not in a traditional way.  Example: Found poem from Elizabeth Bishop’s “Sestina.”

Here, I used phrases from a scene in Lawrence Osborne’s The Forgiven, which takes place in Morocco. I set a rule for myself to use phrases in the order in which they appeared in the text, without rearranging them. Another rule is that I shouldn’t change the words of the phrases, by making present into past tense, changing singular to plural, etc.

You can either set your own poetic intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: poetry. (This page is a work in process). You can also include photos, of course.

Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, July 2 at 1:00 p.m. EST. When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, July 3, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the first Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!