two of keys (23/30)

prompt: take a chance, literally. Find a deck of cards (I used thecollective tarot), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Make a poem from it.

from the manual on memory displacement, in the obsidian guide witchcraft and medicine files

there is no way to remove a memory
…yes sure from the mind
but so far, in our experiments, the heart cannot forget love or grief

these memories can only be displaced
locked deeper in the heart
than the present moment

it takes two keys to lock the memories away
one belongs to the memories’ owner
the other to the master witch

trust your witch
even a master can be a fool

addendum:
so long as the master witch lives
the memories can be recovered

but the process is violent
to the tender system
and can never be repeated

when the memories return
they take the center of the heart
for a year or more
before integration

when the memories return
all that wholeness can overwhelm
a halved heart

obsidian is the world (22/30)

Write a pastoral poem (a Shepherd or shepherdess on nature and love) (on earth day, a poem about loving a planet)

baya is floating
the vertical fields
she sings songs that make
the shmardue wander close
they prance in out round
her feet bare and bright
with golden sand

she doesn’t know earth
she doesn’t long for verdant lush leaf
she knows sunsets last for days

she loves sleeping in the sunlight
she never uses her grav belt
she isn’t scared of flight

i suspect she would be a fighter
if there was a war over these fields
or the black green iceland
whose melting in the sun
is all the river we know

i hope her whole life is this
wandering and learning her stars
rooting into the precious soil
forgetting in her bones the earth i loved
that bloody miracle
leave it to the men

baya is spinning again
upside down, walking the lavender moon
which aya wants to name vula

the earth children run towards and after her
different against gravity
already orienting towards her center

the only thing i want is her safety
for her to be free from our lineage
for us to be far enough away
that we can’t hear the
celebrations of war, the bloodfall
the only thing i want is her
dancing through the air

Redacted (21/30)

Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is an old favorite – the erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact.

dear e—
after everything,
don’t take me back.
the memories I lost
say we shouldn’t

every day I am thinking of constant of my life
the miracle of baya. us.

my system lights up
kinder, my flesh more pleasurable

another chance.
you would give memories
give us a chance

told that we loved each other,
we’d only know joy
give baya
loyalty

Or maybe we forward
You with half
me with our future

take time
from the heart.
I beg you
consider me, anew, again

yours,
Aya

(from)

Dear E—
I understand if, after everything, you don’t want to take me back. Perhaps the memories I lost were the ones which say we shouldn’t be together. But I can’t pretend every day that I am not thinking of you the constant of my life. It isn’t only the miracle of baya between us. It is the way my system lights up in your presence. I feel kinder, smarter, better, my flesh more pleasurable. I want another chance.
I thought if you would give up your memories that might give us a real chance. If we both gave them up again, and we’re told only that we loved each other, I think we’d only know joy for the rest of our days. Perhaps give baya a sibling to devote their loyalty to…
Or maybe we move forward in this way? You with half our lives, me with only our future?
I write this so you can take your time to respond, respond from the heart. I beg you to consider me, anew, again.
Still yours,
Queen Aya

obsidian knows it (20/30)

prompt: write a poem that states the things you know.

a human footstep is light
except when they are crying

when they sleep
lovers are not separate

the child is mine
they’ll see the resemblance when she falls in love

i gather the shimmer
when i face the darkness

i hope they will stay here
it feels so good to give life

aya was right
though she walked the wrong way

i hold her memories
when she’s ready i’ll slip them back into her

e— is a long lost descendant
of our sun
she belongs here

it is their love that sparked my orbit
but of course the universe is a swoon

baya sings (19/30)

prompt: write a landay. Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy…a form of poetry often composed in secret, and rarely written down.

my mother says i am all sacred
she whispers this into the blanket that holds me warm

my mother loves the sound of my voice
she follows me with her eyes while i dance in the dust

she tells me that she loves only me
but i see her watch my mother in the field with awe

she says that i am a miracle
but i think the magic is her love which made my life

she begs the gods of obsidian,
whom she created, to carry my heart in their mouths

i’m not afraid of my mothers’ love
emotion overflows memory, fhangda bursts the shell

there is no tomorrow (18/30)

Prompt: And now for our (as always, optional) prompt, which takes us from 2015 back to the 1700s. After all, it’s the eighteenth of April, which means that today is the 240th anniversary of the midnight ride of Paul Revere! Today, in keeping with the theme of rush and warning, I challenge you to write a poem that involves an urgent journey and an important message. It could historical, mythical, entirely fictional, or memoir-ical.

queen aya writes by the sick bed after queen e— begins to heal.

the only journey
on this small planet
with this intimate horizon
is from life
up to the edge of death
to the place where we think
there is no tomorrow
and the journey from that moment
to dawn

the journey happened
when i loosed baya from my body
and my blood
my heart
wanted to go with her

that journey happened
when i knew e— could
no longer hear me
and i wanted to crawl
through the dark corridors of her
to tell her of home

i needed no why
it was the only way

the sun comes from those two faces
mirrors of light
all that i will ever be
my only tomorrows

the beautiful bruise (17/30)

going off prompt again today.

e— was incoherent
laying in the midst of
a bloody sheet
there was nothing to waste
it was her own blood
and she would be fine
she was, first, a queen

e— was a singular bruise
a target in the linens
saying to the ceiling that she loved me
calling for me through
the crisis of her body
the crisis of my turning away

e— was so lovely
that was the thing they couldn’t take
from my memory or the world:
the illogical consideration
of her architecture
the warmth and solid ground of her presence

e— was going to live
and i lay down beside her
in that vulnerability
with chips of rare ice for her forehead
fermented ginger for her mouth
apologies she couldn’t comprehend

she could never be a stranger to me
the love was a constant presence
it needed no context
that was the lesson in her vulnerability
that was the way i returned to her

Invasion (16/30)

no prompt today. just went through an unexpected medical experience last night and wondered what it would be like to survive such a thing on obsidian.

when the planetians arrived, obsidian’s population grew from 3 to 800 people. each task of society belonged to a small set of focused people. aya and e—, privately at odds but publicly acclaimed, soon found themselves holding a place in the history of the planet, but not able to find a place for their love in the future. still the future is irresistible. e— writes about this distinction the first time she gets sick.

in the middle of a moment
i found myself suddenly doubled over
holding the edges of the known world
to counter the chaos at my root

i need saving
i was beyond independence
i needed others

i crawled to the door
i whimpered
i prayed to deities of the dark and shadows

and everyone responded
and there was no small talk
but endless laughter against the pain
the end of my torture was the entire task of
those who watched over me
i was no longer alone in a brief future
fearful in the whale’s belly

i was no longer
Aya’s complex broken heart
or my own
i was of a people who would live
holding tight to each other

i would live without aya
i would live far from baya
i would live soft with tenderness
and i would live without apology

that was the promise of obsidian

tell me of love (15/30)

prompt: write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self (i.e. “Dear Poem,”)

queen aya sits alone, surrounded by her historical poems in the obsidian creation archives.

everyone says i loved her
a possibility shifting love

that because of her
i created paired space travel
sending lovers to new worlds
‘let sacred connection create the window for life to enter’

and ours the most vibrant
and ours made obsidian home

and i feel nothing

poems, tell me of my love

how i could feel her
even when she slipped into the dark
how is that possible?

i recognize my cadence
but the passion is a stranger
why would i choose to forget
this naked ease i sang of

what happened to us here
floating on this sweet rock
that i turned away?

that i chose this loneliness?

say no more (14/30)

prompt: write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue.

what follows is isolated from
e—‘s memories shortly before aya’s mind sweep.

is baya asleep
there’s something to say

she sleeps, she wakes,
it does not matter

my beloved
i cannot give you my life

did i swallow your soul…
and will you stop touching me?

my love never fills you
you want my mystery, my obsession

you hold me like a stone holds water
wasn’t i beautiful just then?

let me always love you
we are more than our bodies

but i can’t look at you every day
and you don’t long for me

then let’s stop looking at each other
through the lens of what we were

i have no other view
than this stark vantage of heart

but you don’t see me
you watch some fantasy, memoir

say no more.
i won’t be without you.
there’s no one else for you in this space or time.

say no more.
let’s be strangers, comrades.
tomorrow is baya’s. not yours. not mine.