Before Steve and I head into training for Old World Wisconsin and a work schedule that would prevent us from putting two days off together, we’re going to hit the road and go camping. So, I’m not going to do a blog post for a few days, and I’m going to fall behind in the National Poetry Writing Month challenge. But, I forgive myself. I’m sure you forgive me, too. Today’s prompt is to write a persona poem from the point of view of someone you’re not and write in his/her voice, rather like a dramatic monologue. Here is an excellent example by Rita Dove. To tell you the truth, my energy is elsewhere, so I’m choosing not to write poetry today. Instead, I will include a persona poem I wrote some 15 years ago.
Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)
Darkness, like a raging blight, poisons hope and shrouds my sight.
In the dusty, dusky road I lie beside my begging bowl,
Ambushed by the thundering tread of hoof and sole, despair and dread.
Battered, splattered, nothing matters. In this flesh, I’m all but dead.
From a distance comes a cry: “Make way! Jesus is passing by!”
Drowning in my grievous dark, I catch hold of this floating spark
In desperate effort to be freed from hellish want and brutal need.
Hoarse and urgent comes my plea: “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
With a roar, embarrassed scorn swallows the voice of poverty.
Indignation urges me in frantic hope, “Lord, pity me!”
As the torrent cracks the clouds and floods the land with rain,
My sorrow swells and pelts the air in uncontrolled refrain:
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy! Jesus, Lord, have mercy, please!”
A strong, brusque arm lays hold of me and pulls me to my feet.
“Bring that man to me,” I hear. I tremble and I weep.
Then, suddenly, the air is still. A wide, warm presence calms me.
A voice so close it sounds within and penetrates the dark and din addresses me:
“What do you want? What may I do for you?”
I strain toward him; would I behold salvation prophets have foretold
Were he not obscured by evil night? “I want to see!” “Receive your sight.”
His breath surrounds my clouded eyes.
The damning dark is pierced by light. I fall to kiss his feet, then rise.
“Your faith has healed you. Follow me.”
“My Lord, I will, for now I see.”