It's not actually Poetry Friday yet, is it? Well...this Friday, our friend Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children will be hosting it, just in case you want to get in line now...
No, it's not Poetry Friday; still, I'd like to talk about how to catch a poem today. But first--today's Eli's 3rd birthday!
Happy Birthday baby dog!
Every morning, Eli and I walk to our local coffee house. Eli thinks we're on a walk, but actually, we're on a poem hunt.
To catch a poem, I've learned some guidelines: be present. Be silent. Be aware of shoe sounds on the sidewalk, of the crow on the wire, of the yippy dog down that steep hill. Poems may be hiding in a memory that slips past my distracted brain. Some mornings I catch a full-grown poem, some mornings only larvae.
On our hunt the other day, I remembered what one of my friends said: "I'm learning to live in the question, rather than search for the answer."
Doesn't that sound sane, calming, and maybe just a tad Be-Here-Now-ish?
As I stood in line for my coffee, I wondered what questions I was fretting over. Could I just hang out in my questions for awhile?
One was what to do with my never-good-enough novel-in-poems. Another was how to deal with my 89-year old mother without the tension I feel when she forgets something I just told her.
Later in the day when I sat down to write, it was hot, it was muggy, I was tired. I was not feeling as deep as either of those questions. So I turned to my default poetry source: dog. What kinds of questions would a dog ask? Hmmm...
Oh,no...you didn't...how could you...not again?!? Bad dog!
by April Halprin Wayland
He tilts his head.
Your shoe in shreds.
He missed your smell.
He knows it well.
He chewed your shoe
to be with you.
(c)2012 April Halprin Wayland all rights reserved.
Thankfully, Eli's past the chewing phase. When he turned two, it was as if he walked through the door marked CALM DOGS ONLY. So if you have a big doofus dog, take heart--there's hope!
WRITING WORKOUT - QUESTIONS
1. What question are you fretting over? Or...what question would your pet or an inanimate object fret over?
2. Write a poem about it.
3. Remember to breathe.
4. Remember why you started writing in the first place and write with joy!