Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Bantus

A "Bantu" is a poem consisting of a couplet where the second line is a response to the first, that expresses a likeness or connection. The name and supposed origin are bogus, but the form is fun, especially as a group exercise. The way we did was to each offer a beginning line, to which each person then wrote a response. In the set below, the first line of the first couplet, and all of the response lines, were written by me; the other first lines were written by others.

Dry leaves crumble to dust and coat my skin.
Tight gloves of tan suede.

[Stephanie] Friends talking as they pass my house on their morning run.
Squirrels discuss their stores for the coming cold.

[Betsy] Summer squash leaves yellow on the vine.
Hands cupped under a bone-dry spigot.

[Sheryl] White maple-seed propellers, red-tipped, hanging from the branch.
The Red Baron stooping over a stricken field.

[Helen] Dark now by late afternoon.
1 Babies sleep longer than old people.
2 Slowly lowered blinds.

[Sheryl] Green tomatoes, brined not fried, fermenting in my kitchen.
Emerald fish swimming in a sea forever warm and tart.

[Betsy] Vanilla in the pear sauce waltzing slowly.
Drink dew from every rose petal.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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