But before we get to “joy”, let’s talk about “poets”. I’m guessing most people have an image of a person cradling a moleskin journal and a quill, resting on a grassy river bank or under weeping willow branches, jotting down profound bits of language. Or maybe “poet” conjures up a black-bereted, gotee-bearded person with a bongo drum on a stage in a dank basement club. Whatever. In any case, I don’t think the consensus is that “poets” are fierce. That “poets” are relentless. That “poets” are, above all else, BRAVE.
For me, the essence of poetry is digging deeply into personal experiences and emotions, the good, bad, and ugly of them, and putting them on a page. There is no poem unless there is vulnerability on the part of the poet. Then, that openness goes into the world to be read, judged, and often, rejected. Which, not gonna lie, really sucks.
And still, poets write. We poets are either the bravest kind of people or the craziest or some kind of both. So I will share with you one of my rejects, a poem for kids that went into the world, and was sent back to me with a “this is nice, but not what we’re looking for”. It still gives me joy (JOY!) and I hope it gives you some, too.
Chicken Scores a Ten!
If I could choose the perfect pet,
I’d choose a laying hen.
Of all the pets that I could get,
a chicken scores a ten.
She’d scratch and squawk and work the hay
to build a comfy seat.
And in it, daily, she would lay
a treat for me to eat.
I’d take her eggs and save them up
until I had enough,
break out my spoons and pans and cups,
crack, then stir and fluff.
I’d bake the world’s most giant cake –
heave and ho and labor –
then split it so each friend could take
a layer for their neighbor
who’d taste my cake and sprout a smile
then pass it on again.
JOY! would spread a million miles
because I chose a hen.
Now I’m off to write some more poems because that’s what poets do.