I'm starting a new project here on the ole blog.
Once upon a time in my life I wrote poetry...quite a bit of it...even an entire thesis-sized quantity of it. And lately (oh, the last six years) I have not written much at all. Poetry can be an easy thing to put on your back burner when there are other urgent needs in front of you (Mama, I am extremely starving right NOW!)
So I've been giving some thought to simplifying, reprioritizing, all those lovely shake-it-up words, and I've given myself a poetry challenge. And nothing makes a challenge harder to give up on than sharing it with other people, right?
My challenge is the five minute poem. My usual answer to have you been writing lately is that I just don't have time. But I can usually find five minutes. So the deal is that I time myself for 5 minutes only, writing like mad...or not...depending on how it all comes. And I have to make time for this EVERY DAY...for a year...that's the plan...
And I plan to share them here...for your reading enjoyment :)
And I will throw some photographs in, too, because I can't stop taking them.
As of today, I am four days in.
So here are the first four...more to come...
Five Minute poem #4
Hours after you’ve gone to sleep,
I still feel the delicate bones
beneath your shirt. Your exact
weight and length across
my arm as you give in
to sleep are things I know
from watching birds in flight, or
considering a whistle made
of the lightest bone, a sweet
sound comes from the middle.
This morning, a friend held her new daughter
for the first time. I cannot tell
what I feel for her, for every
woman who learns that weight,
that heartbreaking lightness
of a child. Goodnight,
Five Minute Poem #3
This morning as I left for town,
wheels pushing through heavy
new snow; the sky opened,
licked clean its icy blue, opened
wide for a low and serious sun.
And who am I to rush
those eight miles, rush the morning
as the sun crisps golden the edge
of every cold and shimmering thing for miles.
I do not know what to make of myself
in the face of such a morning.
I do know that I stopped the car
and breathed it in, and felt, a bit
at home here on this planet.
Five Minute Poem #2
The dance studio floor is
wet with footprints, snow
dampened boots tipped over
and left beneath the chairs for waiting parents;
a row of girls reach for each
other’s hands, watching the opposite
of each move in the mirrors.
I’ve been walking
the slick downtown streets
in fresh snow; thick white sky
shouldered low on the mountains,
sidewalks, roads all the same-
then the sudden warmth of wood floors,
the echoed tinny music, and my blond
girl, hurrying to me, saying mama, mama
Five Minute Poem #1
Coming home after dark, after
dinner, the air shimmers with our headlights,
a perfect 8 degrees. On either side
of the empty dirt road, drifts as graceful
as any other movement, as any ocean wave
making its languid way toward shore,
and we sip the last of the vodka
made weak with melted ice
from a wide mouthed mason jar
and drive quietly, our bodies
shifting even before we come
to the wide dips and sways
of the frozen road. It is too dark,
to see, but we know
the hills rise and fall
a little at a time
in all directions