Zurich Almanac

Have I written a poem about Zurich yet?

Has the place sunk far enough into my subconscious?

The poetry strata: down where the dinosaur fossils lie

a Jurassic stanza, incorporating the city’s ancient guilds

 

The dull colours of conservative cool

Sitting in roccoco shop windows and on the shoulders of locals

While Ganymed begs the eagle to mount him “in a Swiss way”

Take him to the mountains, Hubacher must mean…

 

ALL ZÜRI, ALL CHRANK: Schweizerdeutsch I can read

Maybe the church spires inject some with cruel medicine.

I’m vaccinated, indoctrinated, the hot needles of last summer’s heat

Tattooed this city across the skin of hometown memories

 

Nothing in nature can kill you here – mammals, reptiles, fish

Just don’t get caught beneath an avalanche

or those blossoms, heavy with spring, before

they fall to the ground like confetti, like ashes, like tiny pieces of my heart

overflowing.

 

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I’m doing National/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo) – write one poem, per day throughout April. Today’s prompt/challenge was interesting in that it was one I initially did not like the sound of. But, as is often the way, it turned out to be quite inspiring as it wasn’t how I’d normally think to construct a poem.

It was as follows: fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. 

Almanac Questionnaire (I’ve included my answers too)

Weather: wet, usually dry
Flora: heavy with spring blossoms
Architecture: cool modern and roccoco
Customs: polite and on time, can be brusque
Mammals/reptiles/fish: nothing can kill you
Childhood dream: Heidi
Found on the Street: sticks
Export: watches and choc
Graffiti: all zuri, all chrank
Lover: Berlin?
Conspiracy: old zuri guilds
Dress: dull colours of conservative cool
Hometown memory: flooded back in last summer’s heat
Notable person: Jung
Outside your window, you find: church spires and spring
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth: dinosaurs?
Story read to children at night: Schellen Ursli
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: nature
You walk to the border and hear: italian, french, german
What you fear: the lights going out
Picture on your city’s postcard: Ganymede

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4 comments

    1. How kind, thank-you! The prompt shook me out of my comfort zone but I was so happy with the results. I’m going use this technique again, I reckon. 🙂

    1. My husband took the kids down early to watch it being built then we watched it on telly, as we have every year, lol. One day we’ll see it live!!

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