Playing with poetry

It was a lovely reprieve to take part in Luther Hughes’s workshop, Reaching for Joy last week. Writing memoir has already proven to be hard, rewarding, triggering, and necessary. Luther’s workshop felt like playtime in comparison. I am not a poet, but it’s fun to try it.

The assignment guidelines: start with “it”, a time you made a choice to basically have faith and also include a food.
Some of you may recall this “story” from a blog post in the very beginning of this blog as I drove from Montana to the southern tip of Baja.

Somewhere In Mexico

It was noon
Driving slow, low shoulder, two lane highway
Potholes in the middle
Didn’t see it coming but heard the pop, felt the bump
Damn only sand
It was the only way to go
All alone as far as the eye could see.
A man came along as we tried to understand
Resigned to not panic, only to trust
He tried with his truck and chain to get me unstuck
But fuck
As if from the sky, a bus fell into sight
Angels who looked like farm workers descended and lifted my car
I witnessed a miracle
Then was on my way to the next town to get a taco

Days Like This

Days Like This

Some days, we just have one of those days. Today is one of those days. Not sure what to do with myself, shedding a few tears, eating, bathing, sitting out in the sun, tearing pages from National Geographic , looking forward to nightfall and my new favorite BBC series, Scott & Bailey .

Meantime, I’ll share a poem that resonated:

Personal by Tony Hoagland

Don’t take it personal, they said:

but I did, I took it quite personal—-

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields :
the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,
with it’s deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness
Think first, they said of Talk

Get over it, they said

at the School of Broken Hearts

but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t
believe in the clean break;

I believe in the compound fracture
served with a sauce of dirty regret,

I believe in saying it all
and taking it all back

and saying it again for good measure
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries

like wheeling birds

and the trees look seasick in the wind.

Oh life! Can you blame me
for making a scene?

You were the yellow caboose, the moon
disappearing over a ridge of a cloud.

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;
barking and barking:

trying to convince everything else
to take it personal too.