Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Nearly Forgot: National Poetry Month

Small Fish in a Big World. 
 Ink and gold watercolor, 9" x 12".

Until this morning, I had forgotten that April was National Poetry Month. However, thanks to a tweet I spotted when I turned on my computer first thing, I was suddenly reminded of how much I used to enjoy participating in 30-day April poetry challenges. They were great, creative, fun . . .  I always signed up to take part. Then came 2020 and I got a little, uh, distracted. I didn't even think of poetry, not once.

However, today when I read a tweet from author, poet, and memoirist Diana Raab (@dianaraab, suggesting the idea of starting a poem with the words "I don't know" it all came back to me. I wanted to write a poem. I HAD TO WRITE A POEM! It was a dark and rainy day, I had a fresh cup of tea, and more than anything else, I felt as if I sure didn't know very much, hence a poem to find out more:



I do not know why things

are falling apart

faster than a cheap pair of shoes,

or why I no longer want to write,

or why I wake up feeling sick in

the middle of the night.


I guess it turns out I'm tired

(so little sleep!)

and falling apart myself.


Somehow, I think, I must sew the pieces back,

to stitch and try to resurrect, like Isis,

the scattered parts of a body

that has to carry me forward still.

Just breathe, I tell myself, 

just breathe and carry on.

One day we will fall together again,

pieces of a puzzle,

meteors from the sky,

ash that falls like snow.

                                                         * * *

And that's my poem for today. I think I've re-inspired myself enough to not only work on my WIP (don't worry, I still want to write) but also to get back into the poetry habit on a more regular basis. I didn't realize until today how much I've missed it. Although the month is nearly over, there's the entire rest of the year to fill a journal or two. With gel pens!

Tip of the Day: Create your own poetry challenge for any time of the year. Find a theme that fits a particular month or season (summer, weddings, family reunions, autumn leaves) and make a list of 30-31 prompts to help you start each daily session. Collecting magazine cut-outs can be an excellent resource for interesting and unusual ideas. Explore, experiment, and keep in mind there's no such thing as "the right way" to write a poem. Enjoy the journey. Let me know how it goes.