And the Sixth Element’s the Page

And the Sixth Element’s the Page

Terry Pratchett says the fifth element’s
surprise–this, to me, seems the most prevalent:
surprise that earth is not what you thought it would be,
or is; surprise that air can still feel free
or doesn’t–is there, but, like a boa,
ties upon your chest a knot of woe, a
chest of not, an anti-treasure.
Surprise that fire is lately measured
by the thousands of acres, or the double
digit pulls of a trigger finger.  Trouble
so often spelled as water, but–surprise too–
that its flow still washes us anew. Oh, wise, you,
Sir Terry, and your inky types, who know
to prise smiles from mere words, mere us, this now.


Draft daft poem.  Inspired by Bjorn Rudberg to think of a sonnet (sort of) and by the Real Toads prompt by Hannah Gosselin on the classical elements–earth, air, water, fire.  My favorite writer who discusses the elements–actually my favorite writer when he discusses anything–Sir Terry Pratchett–added in the element of surprise. 

I’m not sure why I am using this picture– the little dog seems hardly surprised!  But it’s a pic I did that makes me smile so put it here.  All rights reserved.  

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15 Comments on “And the Sixth Element’s the Page”

  1. a knot of woe, a
    chest of not.

    Really talked to me.. and how I love the element of surprise… so important to involve whatever can feel random.. 🙂

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    Very fluid poem, k–the elements both comprise and defy us, and the surprise is perhaps that nothing is ever so single-shaped as it seems. I also like the line that Bjorn quotes, as well as the final lines, which show the need we have to feel that the mind and the sense of humor prevail over more random and more untrustworthy forces.

  3. Genius to add the element of surprise!

  4. “Oh, wise, you,
    Sir Terry, and your inky types, who know
    to prise smiles from mere words, mere us, this now.” Life is one surprise after another. Might as well smile : )

  5. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    Surprise can be anywhere on the response scale, running from negative to positive; I liked this imaginative take on the prompt a lot. Your take on the classical elements is terrific too, as air is choking people to death in China, water is flooding half our town, fire eats forests around here, & the earth itself weeps itself to sleep.

  6. The air being free line jumped out at me…on a personal level…how impersonal it is…each sip already sipped by another? Recycled…kind of personal…this sharing of the “free” air. Thank you, for making me think and joining the challenge! 🙂

  7. The boa tying the knot of woe – wow! That is an amazing image……..loved this, Bjorn, the wonderings, “that the earth is not what you thought it would be, or is”. Cool. Love the sketch of the poor little doggy. Ouch!

  8. Jim Says:

    I love your line, “inky types, who know
    to prise smiles from mere words.”
    I try to do the latter, I’m not sure about being an inky type (someone not long ago called me a prolific writer).
    Your words sure did get smiles from me with very little prying here from this writing. I’m still smiling. 🙂

    • Jim Says:

      Smiling too when I read that your drawing was a dog. I thought it was a man, lower part only showing, with his pants down ready for the shot. Kinky? 🙂

  9. Fae Says:

    This is excellent.

    I love these:
    “a chest of not, an anti-treasure”
    “Trouble so often spelled as water”
    “from mere words, mere us, this now”

  10. I feel like I’ve learned something. Surprise! Lol

  11. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Love Pratchett and love the way you have worked with his fifth element.

  12. Candy Says:

    your title pulled me in – your words kept me reading!

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