NaPoWriMo23 day 26 – Prompt from the NPM Nonce Scavenger Hunt hosted by murisopsis at A Different Perspective, to write a Silver Shovel, a form created by Monty Vern. Unlike a Golden Shovel, in which you take a line or lines from another poem and use every word in order as the last word in each line of your poem, a Silver Shovel requires the use of only the key words in order. I used the beginning of C.S. Lewis’s epitaph to his wife Joy:
Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
It Could Happen
after C.S. Lewis’s epitaph for his wife Joy
It could happen. Someone says, “Here,
Hold these halves together,” zaps them whole,
And as a thank you offers you the world.
Will you be a wish among stars?
Moonlight floating on water?
A firefly energizing the air?
Roots burrowing under a field?
An enchanted forest?
Let’s say it happens, and they
Want your answer zip-zap, as it were.
Won’t you be glad you reflected
On it now, when you have more than a single
Magical moment to make up your mind?
I love Shovel poems: they provide both structure and leeway, especially the Silver Shovel. Having written the one above, I was moved to write another with even more flexibility. I’m calling this adapted form the Shovel-and-Pail (Plastic Shovel doesn’t sound like it could ever catch on) and it involves using only the key words of the original lines but in any order desired. I’m thinking you wouldn’t necessarily need to credit the original poet, since the words aren’t in the original order, but I would appreciate others’ thoughts about this. In this instance I used the same C.S. Lewis lines and ended up with a bespoke poem for Muri, whose Scavenger Hunt prompts are a source of joy and satisfaction for me. For you, Muri, with my thanks! And peace to all our ♥s!
Muri Mouse paused, picked one of the many stars,
and wished for a Lindt bar. She sniffed the air.
Lovely. There were so many stars, she reflected,
that she could be generous. She wished for a whole
year’s supply. And for a studio of her own where
she could potter about. A cozy condo in the forest
for her and Mr. Mouse. Someone to weed and water
the garden while they geocached, who didn’t mind
doing taxes also. She sighed and lay down in the field.
She began counting the stars—so many!—and they
lulled her, but she felt restless, too, as if she were
being reproached. She couldn’t think of a single—
oh! Her biggest, brightest wish! Peace in the world!