Poetry Friday: Attempting a Duplex

The Sunday Night Swaggers are back with another monthly challenge. This month, Margaret Simon challenged us to write a duplex, a form created by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Jericho Brown.

Challenge is the keyword here. I really struggled with this poem. I struggled to come up with a topic, then struggled to keep the poem from becoming too dark. I also didn’t exactly follow the rules, but I know I wrote with the spirit of the rules in mind. That has to count for something, right?

The facts are hard to dismiss;
We’re at the edge of a vast abyss.

At the edge of this abyss, can we ignore
Tons of plastic littering our shores?

Plastic-lined shores still sparkle and shine
But they are a beacon of nature’s decline

Nature’s decline is our fault alone.
Is it too late for us to atone?

Before it’s too late to atone for our greed
Let’s join together, plant the seeds

Plant seeds for the future, seeds of hope
We must stop our slide down this slippery slope

Stopping this slide is a goal we can’t miss
These are facts that we cannot dismiss.

© Draft, Catherine Flynn, 2020

Please be sure to read the duplexes my fellow Swaggers wrote at their blogs:

Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche

Also, don’t forget to visit Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Attempting a Duplex

  1. It WAS challenging. I think in the spirit is fust fine…and this is an important topic sadly pushed too far down the list. I like your center question: “is it too late for us to atone?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, Catherine! You did the challenge in rhyme! Rhyme is so hard to maintain, and you did it! This is a great topic and certainly timely. At first I thought the abyss was the virus, since pundits are talking about the dive off the cliff. We need so many seeds of hope, the actual ones and the figurative ones. Your poem is a seed. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You pulled it off, Catherine! And you know the message bears repetition after repetition. Your meter and rhyme skills are on display, too. I think I ended up feeling somehow unqualified to write the blues. I studied and studied to get a flavor and not sure I succeeded. I do wonder about becoming too dark. Why not? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done, Catherine! This form does seem to lend itself to serious topics. I wonder sometimes if (when) our lives will settle down from the crisis of the week (or the day), so that we can focus more on the ones that have been sitting on the back burner for far too long.

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  5. Wow! I’m so impressed that you attempted this challenge with rhyme–and pulled it off! That dark abyss is sadly real. Our attention is pulled in so many directions these days–most of them worrisome. I think it’s hard not to go dark and perhaps we just need to let it rip. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Well played. I agree with Molly that perhaps your topic needs to be dark. We SHOULD be scared. We SHOULD be doing more to atone and pull back from the abyss we’ve created.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so hopeful that we can work hard to change the trajectory of our climate, hopeful for the election. . . You’ve written it poignantly, Catherine, showing that “sparkle and shine” is not always a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Catherine, I, like the others, enjoyed your poem and celebrate your rhyming. Stanza 2 is illustrated quite well with a huge metal sculpture of a whale on the lawns of Jones Beach, Long Island. The whale is stuffed at the tail end with bottles of plastic-things that should not be polluting our environment but are. I think you wrote a call-to-action poem that is worth sharing online with advocacy groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good job, Catherine! I think it is appropriately dark. Your “Plastic-lined shores still sparkle and shine” struck me because we don’t feel like we need to do anything while things continue to look good to us. Here’s to facts we can’t dismiss!

    Liked by 1 person

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