Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME? Going on a Poem early poem for Poetry Friday

Howdy Campers!

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, didn' 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!


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!
Poem, photos and drawing (c)2012 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.


Linda B said...

I'm glad you finally got the post up, April What a fun poem, & so apt for young dogs, who simply know only that they want to be 'close'. Those few words tell all. Thanks for the tips, too.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks, Linda! I don't know why it didn't post. I'd scheduled it for 3:30 am. Maybe this updated version of Blogger has a few glitches?

And yes...I'm always trying to use fewer words...the first draft was way too cluttered!

Amy Goldman Koss said...

Aw, doggness in a poem! xoxo

Jill said...

Sweet poem, April. Our doggie calmed down at age 3. Finally.

Joy said...

I wish I could have been with you and the dog for coffee.

I like your writing workout questions-especially #4.

If you'd like to write with JOY your welcome to come by any time. :)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Amy--thanks for stopping by, friend!

Jill--I'd never had a big dog before...and didn't know how long their adolescence lasted. Thank goodness it's over! (or mostly...)

Joy--I'll think differently about writing with Joy from now on...thanks for the smile!