NaPoWriMo Day 3 Prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to make a “Personal Universal Deck,” and then to write a poem using it. The idea of the “Personal Universal Deck” originated with the poet and playwright Michael McClure, who gave the project of creating such decks to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. Basically, you will need 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, and on them, you will write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper) using the rules found here.

Don’t agonize over your word choices. Making the deck should be fun and revealing, as you generate words that sound “good” to you. The fact that the words are mainly divided among the five senses should be helpful in selecting words that you like the sound of, and that have some meaning personal to you. For example, my deck contains “harbor,” “wool,” “murmur,” “obsidian,” and “needle. Once you have your deck put together, shuffle it a few times. Now select a card or two, and use them as the basis for a new poem.

Here’s my take for today’s prompt:

Poem: One grain of sand

“One grain of sand, one task at a time”

My father often reminded me,

Directing at his hourglass

“Dad it’s a massive, complex project,

How would it ever see daylight?”

With innocence aglow, I would quetch with teary eyes

“Don’t worry honey, let’s start with baby steps,” he would suggest

“Give it heartily, the time it deserves,”

“It’s the little things that combine to be immense,”

As I grew up, I tucked onto his lessons

Hassled I would be, with multitude of life

But I would calm myself with one task at a time

As the pace of life outweighed on me

“Baby steps” I would remind myself

And back on track, I’d soon find myself

Smilingly, I would observe his hourglass,

How patiently it handled the pile of sand

Filtering slowly one by one,

Just one grain of sand

Just one grain at a time!

©Vandana Bhasin

03.04.2021