Sunday, April 30, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #30 - Endings

The trail ends 1500 feet above the canyon floor of
Zion National Park.  Not for the afraid-of-heights.
What is the reward when the climb ends?
Wow!  It is the last day of NaPoWriMo 2017, and it is the last prompt!  And so it is time to pat yourself on the back for drafting so many new poems this month.  You participated with a huge community of writers all coming together to celebrate and promote poetry.  I had a great time, and even got some really good drafts this year.  It has been a tremendous amount of work to get these prompts up, but there are so many ideas in these that I think I'll be able to use these same prompts for many years to come!  I hope you will return and do the same.

Fittingly, today our theme is "Endings."  Of course in fairy tales there is always the story that ends with "happily ever after" - which of course is not an ending at all.

Providence by Catherine Barnett

The jaywalkers

walked slowly, a cigarette warmed
someone’s hand. 

Some of the best sermons
don’t have endings, he said

while the tires rotated
unceasingly beneath us.

Expectations can be shifted with endings - birth as an ending to pregnancy, the first day of school as an ending to summer, and marriage as an ending to bachelorhood.  "Leaving" can be leaving to end something, or to start something new.  The same is true of graduation, divorce, and perhaps even death.  Beginnings and endings have a complicated relationship.

Mountain Time by Kathryne Stripling Byer

While prophets discourse about endings,
don’t you think she’d tell us the world as we know it
keeps calling us back to beginnings?
This labor to make our words matter
is what any good quilter teaches.

Many words that can describe endings come to mind, like finality, closure, finishing, and conclusion.  Endings may be satisfying or frustrating, planned or unexpected, and exciting or dull.  But as with all endings, there is something or some experience that has stopped or is no longer happening.  Assuming we really reach the ending ... and do not, like really almost all writers, just keep on rewriting ... 

Lot's Wife by Dana Littlepage Smith

And so I chose this brine,
now crystals shift. The salt dissolves
and I want to speak.

Whore of all hopes, I now believe
some stories survive
in order to remake their endings.

Prompt #30:  Choose some aspect of the concept of "endings" and write a poem.  What memories do you have of endings?  Are they happy, sad, bittersweet?  Do endings always come with opportunities for new beginnings?  Are there rewards at the end, or losses - something left behind?  What changes have happened because something has ended?  Are there lasting implications or impacts?  Can the ending really be achieved?  What holds us back from endings?  Consider answers to these questions as you craft your poem.

Ok, the big extra challenge today is craft your poem in a classic form you have never used before (like a pantoum, villanelle, sestina, etc.) 

Endings will be a good theme to follow for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.

Did you use this or one of our other prompts? You can post your poem in our comments, if you like.

Happy Writing!

Prompts crafted by:
J.A. Grier, Senior Scientist and Education Specialist, Planetary Science Institute
Amy Grier, Managing Editor, Solstice Literary Magazine
Image Credits:  Angels Landing CC 3.0 Wikimedia Commons

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