The Tower

After –
shrieks gave way to whimpers,
and those who could
stumbled among the splinters
of the lives they thought
could never be shaken.

Before –
the sun shone down,
on the fairest city,
on the most immaculate hill,

except on the shadowed spot
rotting at the foundation,
which would be lightning struck

one moment later.


This poem was a response to two prompts. The 55 Word Challenge at Imaginary Garden for Real Toads and A Dash of Sunny's Prompt Nights: Let's Take A Look at the Cards, Shall We? Sanaa asked us to take inspiration from the tarot. I'm a tarot enthusiast and love collecting decks as well as doing readings with them, so I pulled a card from one of my favorite decks, The Shadowscapes Tarot and worked with that. I pulled the Tower, which was much darker than my current mood (I'm enjoying a lazy day after a month filled with travels - more on that in a later post), but I made it work. I might revisit a tarot inspired prompt again, since it was fun to play with.

38 comments:

  1. You've done a wonderful job combining these prompts, creating something greater than the sum of the parts.

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    1. It was a challenge getting in what I wanted to say under 55 words, but I think the poem benefited greatly from the need to be brief.

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  2. Rommy, this might be my favourite poem of yours to date. I can't believe that you did all this in 55 words! The before and after is brilliant and what a metaphor for life.

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    1. Thank you Kerry. I think the need to be focused forces me to grow as a writer and poet.

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  3. What a lot of meaning there is to read in those 55 words. Quite a remarkable and thought provoking poem.

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  4. Whistles!! ❤️💜 Gosh Rommy this is absolutely amazing :D such vivid and intense descriptions and that too in 55 words ❤️💜 Beautifully penned. Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights and for your constant love and support :D :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  5. Ivory towers so easily fall down - perhaps it is better to build a solid, wooden hut.. on the shore..sure - also love the reference to 'Mad World' - the version really captured a feeling almost nameless but so strong..

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    1. Sometimes song pairings come quickly to my mind. This one didn't (LOL, a walk with the dog usually helps me come up with ideas), but once I thought of it I was sold. This version matched the mood I wanted perfectly.

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  6. Good foundations are so important. It doesn't matter how magestic the edifice if its underpinnings are rotten. Great write on a difficult card to see pulled out in a reading!

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    1. LOL, that card is a rough one! I was in a good mood and thought I'd pull a cheery card. But I'm glad that I had to stretch a bit to write this one. Sometimes I let my mood be a barrier to what I am writing at the moment. And now I know I can at least pull off a decent bit of writing despite what's going on at a particular moment.

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  7. The Tower--one we all live in, I fear--seems to afford us a very keen insight into current affairs, both personal and political. Bleak, yet beautiful in its skilled rendering of the cycles of a culture. That is a gorgeous tarot deck, too, Rommy.

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    1. Yeah, I can see this apply to politics way too well.

      I love the Shadowscapes tarot. It's one of my go-to decks.

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  8. That final strike shakes all kinds of foundations and promises unmaking.

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  9. The Tower card is part of my tarot soul path profile so I am very familiar with its effects, lol. Great poem!

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    1. LOL, that's a tough card! But then it would suggest that since you still are standing after your brushes with the Tower, you're a tough cookie.

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  10. Introsective of us all. Thank you for this

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  11. great job capturing the essence of the Tower card. I think you handled the imagery and emotional turmoil that card encompasses very well. I do also want to comment that for one not familiar with the deck, it also could be read as a 9/11 allegory. I am not sure if there is a way to work around that or not.....

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    1. That could be one way of looking at it as well, though I didn't have that imagery in mind when I wrote it. I'm glad the piece works on multiple levels.

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  12. Nicely written, Rommy. You've set the mood, disbelief, at the beginning,
    "... splinters
    of the lives they thought
    could never be shaken
    ".
    It has become our nature to believe we are invincible regardless of our actual security.
    Re your remark about studying for your SAT, I too found in studying for the tests that I didn't retain for long the material I learned soley by cramming.
    ..

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    1. It is a big part of human nature, but thankfully resilience is part of that nature as well.

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  13. I love how you created this amazing story from just one card, while allowing our own imaginations to run free :D XXX

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    1. Thanks Gina! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

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  14. "rotting at the foundation" what else to be expected of it, but that Fall...a great metaphor for today's life...

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    1. It definitely can apply to things in the news these days.

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  15. Oh my this is so timely. This is a novel in 55 words, powerful.

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    1. Thanks Susie. I am happy I could get the imagery I wanted in the word count limit.

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  16. Amazing, you created this from one card! Excellent story!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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