Power Failure

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Sapphics are quatrains whose first three lines have eleven syllables, and the fourth, just five. There is also a very strict meter that alternates trochees (a two-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed, and the second unstressed) and dactyls (a three-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed and the remainder unstressed). The first three lines consist of two trochees, a dactyl, and two more trochees. The fourth line is a dactyl, followed by a trochee.

As luck would have it, my power–restored after a 32 hour off-and-on outage–clicked off completely just after I received this prompt and so there was little else that entered my mind to write this poem about. A very difficult form, by the way, and not a stellar accomplishment in terms of theme, but at least I did the assignment. But, on the positive side, the electricity has been on for one hour now without faltering and I see  my internet is now streaming boldly in.

Actually, now that there is electricity again, this day is turning out to be all that it was cracked up to be, and this poem luckily also fits in with the WordPress daily prompt, as well, so here it is!

Power Failure

Would that I had power to run my life with–
turn on my computer or cook my breakfast–
charge my phone or open my own garage door.
It’s not happening!

One day stretches after another, without
help for one imprisoned within her casa.
Fridge that drips from every hinge and juncture.
Loos unflushed by any means but by bucket
hauled from swimming pool.

Other folks do not have to light these candles,
locate flashlights all in some hidden drawer,
fish out ice cubes quickly from freezer section,
hoard computer time.

Yes, I do love Mexico more or less–
more for weather mild and the constant sunlight.
Less for lights that flicker and fail at night and
do not light again.

Oh that ladder placed in the kitchen aisle,
found in darkness, when perchance stumbled over.
Glass in hand dropped, shattering to each corner.
Perils multiply.

Now I shuffle through the dark house to locate
matches, candles, dustpan and broom to sweep up
further dangers, accidents bound to happen.
All things difficult.

Here I sit just thirty-six hours in darkness.
Help will come in one hour or perhaps thirty.
Beeps from starving phones sound from every chamber.
Growling stomach groans out a matching rhythm.
Help comes haltingly.

Hours since the outage are forty-two now,
Lights flood on and do not dim shortly after.
Please, dear God, let this be the end of darkness.
Wifi? Wunderbar!!!!

The NaPoWriMo Prompt: compose a poem in Sapphics.

For the Ragtag Prompt, STELLAR

17 thoughts on “Power Failure

  1. K. Renae P.

    I. Loved. This! Being out of power for so long stinks, but we have this poem out of it. Always look on the bright side of life. 🙂

    Sapphic poetry. I am going to try this out. It may take me a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allenda Moriarty

    Perfect! You are such a grand mistress of poetic expression. I could see every minute of the 42 hours inching by. Reminded me of calling over the wall to see if you had lights or phone, and whether it was in all of part of the house. If we were lucky and had any electricity, we would run extension cords from a part of the house or cochera that had it to the refrigerator, which inevitably did not. Gathering every candle in the house to play cards or Mexican train by candle light was also part of the evening ritual. The improvisation always gave one such a pioneer spirit.


  3. Pingback: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: A Must-See For Lovers of Linguistics | Ramisa the Authoress

  4. granonine

    Judy, your poetry always amazes me! I don’t have the discipline to be that structured and creative at the same time. And I’m not much of a poet, anyway. Excellent work today 🙂

    Liked by 2 people


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