Aftermath of PAD 2023

Siren Song, watercolor by poet, c. J. Markham, 2023

Hello loyal readers,

In the aftermath of the poem-a-day challenge, I want to add a few poems that slipped by with the fast pace of my literary life since my book Rainbow Warrior was released!

On Day 10 of the poem-a-day challenge, I was uninspired to write a “shanty” poem although many of my poet friends were loving it. No, it was not coming to me!

This was the prompt from Maureen at NaPoWrimo: “I’m playing to my own strengths here, but I challenge you to write a sea shanty (or shantey, or chanty, or chantey — there’s a good deal of disagreement regarding the spelling!) Anyway, these are poems in the forms of songs, strongly rhymed and rhythmic, that sailors might sing while hauling on ropes and performing other sea-going labors.”

Although some of my kindred poets were writing away, I just couldn’t imagine a poem/song to be sung while loading or unloading a ship, etc., so I slipped to day eleven and continued.

Now, I’ve decided to use a poem to the sea from an earlier time to make up my day 10 challenge! Below is the poem: “Offering to Yemanya.” Shout out to Ed Madden, in whose workshop I wrote this poem some years ago (sponsored by the Poetry Society of South Carolina).

Offering to Yemanya

Sometimes the river beckons me

to pipe an offering.

I push my breath through my silver flute.

Sun sparks my notes to Yemanya,

acrobats on the river blue,

somersaults to St. Helena Sound,

gold melodies crest to the sea.

                      Jacquelyn Markham