Hello toads! This is Izy and Kenia, and we're here to share the outcome of writing together closing the month of celebrations of IGWRT first anniversary.
We were both so happy to be paired up for Toads in Tandem. We had never worked together previously, and Izy had never even written a collaborative poem. We had lots of fun discussing our project. We decided to go with a poetic urban intervention, after discovering we are both fans of Bansky and street art. The idea was to share the poem by leaving it in places where people wouldn't expect to find poetry.
We picked a theme when Izy described her recent infatuation with the show 'Doomsday Preppers': she had watched a few episodes online. "It's all about people who are preparing for way beyond realistic doomsday scenarios." She explained, "They spend most of their waking hours preparing for this inevitable big bad that they think is looming over their shoulders but will never really happen. What if we approached it from the angle of love your doomsday, something that would make it okay to be at peace with the chaos?" Kenia was immediately in love with the idea, and we decided to go forward with the Love Your Doomsday theme.
So this is basically what the poem is about - a positive look into the end of the world. We took turns writing the stanzas. Izy opened the poem, and then the back and forth began. The poem has four stanzas that represent the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. We wanted to make it this meaningful. Kenia has printed 50 copies that she will continue sticking to lampposts, phone boots, walls, buses etc. in her surroundings.
Momma spent years waiting for the floods
which would split the roads open
and the fiery sky that would burn.
She lined the garage shelves
with cream of mushroom soup
canned green beans
and fried onions
enough munitions to make
green bean casserole forever.
In the gun safe, she kept duplicates
of all her John Lennon albums,
for when that final day turned to night.
Dad couldn’t care less about
the floods or the fire.
He had a beer regularly
watched soccer religiously
and made plans for the unlikely future:
to mend the rain gutter
to replace the Toyota’s blown tail light
to mown the lawn.
At the dinner table, no one spoke
of the things we knew where happening:
the foulness of the hot wind which clawed
and banged at the shuttered windows without end,
the dimness of noon which grew only dimmer,
and the smoke that rose from the ground,
tarring the backyard an endless yellow.
We learned silence and resilience
performing our chores.
We learned the lines in our palms
and on one another's faces
they revealed roads we walked,
in good times and in bad.
I remember, we smiled.
The minute past,
the minute ahead,
in the blink of eyes
They are gone -
what in the world
is ours to keep?
And because we both love photography, you can see some of the places this poem visited.
(more photo taken by Kenia can be found here)