Today’s (optional) prompt is a fun one. Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.
I used the article from the National Geography March 2020 issue . I replaced the animal in the article with ‘Polka dotted pajamas.’ The poem is based on the article with very minor edits. I have provided the process of writing the poem below it.
I enjoyed writing this and of all the poems I have written so far, this must be the easiest.
Sarumawashi trained polka dotted pyjamas
Once people used to feed them
Park staff feed them today!
The story goes that polka dotted pajamas
Were believed to be, the protector
of horses and the mediator
between Gods and humans
But over the years their spiritual significance faded
and polka dotted pajamas became performers in circus acts-
At first they are taught to sit on tiny stools
Gradually they walk on stilts; and vault over hurdles.
Wandering around the courtyard one day,
I saw a polka dotted pajama in diapers, and an orange leisure suit
trounce a five-year-old, on the street
Every time the puck came its way
the polka dotted pajamas smacked it back
While another polka dotted pajama doled out fortunes
and yet another in a kimono
struck a macho pose and leaped-
‘Twas one of the warm-up acts
Before the main match-
At Nikko Saru Gundan, an amphitheatre
the polka dotted pajamas wore soccer uniforms
Six Japanese polka dotted pajamas stood erect
kicked the ball, up and down the turf
while a crowd of spectators cheered
in a mock Japan-versus-Brazil match
The polka dotted pyjamas in blue jerseys (Japan) looked sturdy
but Brazil’s yellow lineup was quick
especially, when player 10
suddenly, got the ball, kicked, and scored!
Victory! Japan’s team bowed,
and the crowd exploded in laughter
Some polka dotted pyjamas celebrated their win
wearing frilly dresses, turning backflips
and lounging in hot springs
Others I saw them at a bar
Nearly two hours North of Tokyo
serving cold beers and warm hand towels,
and wearing papier-mâché masks,
including one that resembled U.S. president Donald Trump!
* ‘Monkeys’ in the article were replaced with polka dotted pyjamas which as you guessed right has been my ‘comfort’ clothing all through the lockdown.
** Article on which the poem is based https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/japan-snow-monkeys-circus-like-performances-contradict-long-revered-status-feature
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