NaPoWriMo: 10 and Then

10 Apr

Mmmmmm, no. This is not to one of the images that Miz Q has provided (although they now sit in a folder). But, it does involve red. I’m trying. Really.

For a couple of summers, while studying for my Masters in Mallorca, I spent a number of hours watching the dance between matador and bull. A whole channel on television is dedicated to it. I found the technique mesmerising (oh, stop throwing things — I didn’t say I liked it). Red fascinates me as a colour. In a desperate attempt to attach to Barbara’s prompt, this is my offering:

The scarlet lining of the cape
flares its tongue of flame–
like a fiery rope of peppers
splashed against a whitewashed wall–
burns the bull.

The horns of the bull dance
to the scarlet liningโ€™s lead, scatter
a skein of crimson–like drops
of paint streaked across the sandy floor–
burn the bullfighter.

The blade of the sword
slides between the shoulders
like the knife-edge of the horns,
redly, slides through skin,

I like it but need to wrestle it around some more. I have this feeling of allowing myself to be indulgent ;-D


Posted by on 10/04/2013 in exercises, poetry, writing


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28 responses to “NaPoWriMo: 10 and Then

  1. julespaige

    10/04/2013 at 12:05 pm

    I think you did have fun with this piece…
    While in Mexico (just for a tad while hubby was working) we too watched briefly a bull fight on the TV. I know there are traditions, but I feel sorry for the bull.

    Throw me practically any prompt and I’ll have my way with it Bwahahha hahaha!

  2. viv blake

    10/04/2013 at 12:15 pm

    Mesmerising? maybe; self-indulgent? never. You can do no wrong in my eyes. It does feel a tad unfinished, though. You have set up an expectation of a refrain with “burning” but then the fire fizzles out. I feel there is more of this theme to come.

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 12:21 pm

      Agreed, ViV, about the burning. I hadn’t noticed, but Jules pointed it out too. I may do the unusual and change it here!!! Now!!!

      And, thank you for the compliment.

  3. jessiecarty

    10/04/2013 at 12:15 pm

    I love the image of the peppers ๐Ÿ™‚

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 12:21 pm

      Jessie! how lovely to see your face here. I think I wrote the poem to get the peppers image in ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Pamela

    10/04/2013 at 12:36 pm

    Margo, I like what you have going here. It is interesting and brought to mind the book by Hemmingway “Death in the Afternoon”. Yes, the peppers!


    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 12:39 pm

      I’m glad you reminded me of that book, Pamela. I should probably reread it.

      Always the peppers!


  5. Marianne

    10/04/2013 at 1:49 pm

    I can hear the roar of the crowd and see that poor, angry bull. Very nice, Margo. I’m another fan of “The scarlet lining of the cape
    flares its tongue of flameโ€“
    like a fiery rope of peppers.”

  6. Quickly

    10/04/2013 at 3:26 pm

    I think you’re on to something. It’s restrained. like the stylized fight itself, like ballet. I don’t know if you want to go there, but you might make the paint reference acid or lava, and the blade, ice. Since you drop the fire after V1. I misread the “lead” in V2 as the metal because the capes seem weighted, and that put me into thinking of molten lead.

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 5:20 pm

      Snap, Barbara. I have it saved as Duet. Thank you for the ideas. You know how I love to play. And, you know I need more distraction :-).

  7. Elizabeth

    10/04/2013 at 3:41 pm

    I actually like your poem, Margo, although I can’t abide the baiting of any creature for entertainment or a sense of power, be they human or otherwise. I like your use of language, the repetition of the word burn, and the sense imagery you have created. But, personally, I think it is the audience who would applaud such a performance, who should burn at its conclusion. And for what its worth, I agree with Viv, you can’t do anything wrong in my book either.


    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 5:27 pm

      It’s an odd and unusual culture, this bull fighting one. They have a code of ethics [even if we don’t like it]. You can tell I kept the television on a lot. It was the only way to slog through my dissertation. The countries where it is found have begun to shift to shows of talent, a true duet, man, cape, and bull, without the final ending.

      It’s worth quite a lot, Elizabeth.


  8. Misky

    10/04/2013 at 4:38 pm

    I was hooked by the first two lines.

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 5:28 pm

      They’re pretty visual, aren’t they, Misk!

  9. markwindham

    10/04/2013 at 5:25 pm

    10!! I feel shame, I missed a day, and today is looking questionable. Tax time approach-eth and panic doth ensue… May have a quickie in me.

    No doubt red is the theme. ๐Ÿ™‚ The second two S have promise…I can kind of see the ‘self-indulgent’ in the first. I can picture a Shakespearian actor doing the reading, cape over one arm, the other dramatically lifted to the audience.

    Perhaps delirium has set in already… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 5:32 pm

      Babbling is not good this early in the game. Think short. I keep telling myself, should I feel panic over the poems [Skip does the panicking over taxes] to write haiku. Surely, I can come up with a half-way decent haiku for any topic. Right?

      Twenty days of poems? You’re young-ish. You can do it. [looking for something to throw at me? :-D].

      • markwindham

        10/04/2013 at 5:38 pm

        oh, my taxes are done, but work picks up this time of year when people realize their books are a shambles at tax time. Not complaining mind you, but busy. The poeming does not have me babbling, it is the accounting work. ๐Ÿ™‚ This whole feeding the family thing really cuts into writing time.

        • margo roby

          10/04/2013 at 5:41 pm

          I tell you, that feeding the family bit gets in the way a lot, doesn’t it! Bologna and hotdogs. Good stuff ;-). Better yet, put them all to work.

          • markwindham

            10/04/2013 at 6:02 pm

            ok, mine for today is up. Should at least be good for a chuckle.

  10. Stan Ski

    10/04/2013 at 5:28 pm

    You do red dead good!

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 5:32 pm

      Oh good, I need the laugh, Stan! Thank you :-).

  11. Irene

    10/04/2013 at 6:45 pm

    Margo, the “fiery rope of peppers” is workin’! I see you’re at #10 and is ahead of the game.

  12. ladynimue

    10/04/2013 at 9:37 pm

    I liked how it opened ., it sure is captivating bit ๐Ÿ™‚

    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 11:16 pm

      Lady N. lovely to see you and thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Mr. Walker

    10/04/2013 at 10:00 pm

    Margo, I like it. What you did with burns, how your poem ended on that note. How about a stanza about the audience watching the bullfight. Are they burning? And what about the speaker of the poem? And what about the readers? Just a thought or two.


    • margo roby

      10/04/2013 at 11:19 pm

      Ooh, Richard, nice. I have not worked with speaker much in my poetry. This might be a good poem for that. I like the idea of the audience, too, perhaps burning in the sun. Thank you.



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