Today’s prompt is a poem of negation – yes (or maybe, no), I challenge you to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like. For example, if you chose a whale as the topic of your poem, you might have lines like “It does not settle down in trees at night, cooing/Nor will it fit in your hand.” Since I had already worked on a poem with dragons in the title, I just stayed with the theme for this poem:
NEVER TICKLE A SLEEPING DRAGON
He doesn’t use mouthwash against his fire-hot breath
nor quench thirst with his cool words. He doesn’t breathe
out C02, nor eat ice cream or frozen yogurt hot days in summer.
There are no soft sofas in his den, nor paper books, nor quilts
to cosy up his scaly skin. He doesn’t soften his pelt with lotion
nor rub on sun protection, he isn’t thin-skinned like humans
are supposed to be. Instead—
his breath boils with fire, with requisite brimstone, with a ripe mix
of hydrogen and methane fermenting in his gut till flame
bursts into life heating teeth, tongue and those not standing
far enough away.
He doesn’t want you to tickle him when he sleeps nor when he wakens.
He’ll burn you twice and two times more if you try.
Carol A. Stephen
April 1 2015