[National Poetry Writing Month – composing a poem a day based on a prompt – Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!]

I, not Death, stood up

it was not death.
I stood up… and all the dead…

lie down?

It was not night for all
put out your tongues,
for noon was not frost

my flesh I felt crawl

 fire, for just my marble feet, could keep cool

 and yet, it tasted, like them all

 the figures I have seen set for burial

reminded me, of mine as if my life were shaven

and fitted to a frame

i could not breathe without midnight
’twas like a key ,
when everything that ticked has stopped
and space stares all around
or grisly frosts first autumn morns
repel the beating ground

 but, like chaos
stopless, without a chance
or even a report of land to justify despair

[with apologies to emily dickinson, based on her poem, ‘It was not Death, For I Stood up’]

[For the next poem, an Aubade, which i think is my best one so far, click here]