Going off the Rails

I don’t know about you, fellow poets and poetry lovers, but when I sit down to write, what ends up on the page is rarely what I think will end up on the page. More often than not, my mind goes off the rails, scurries down rabbit holes, mole holes, lots of holes, and utterly surprises me with what it latches onto.

For example, this month, I have been soaking up poetry wisdom from the fabulous Georgia Heard and Rebecca Dotlich at the Poet’s Studio. Given the prompt to write about autumn and to lean into metaphor, I thought I would write about building a fire in my woodstove. I mean, who doesn’t love the glow of a fire, the scent of smoke in the cold night air, the way that a hearth fire draws the people you love to a common room where you can pass an evening in the warmth of each other? See, poetry is just begging to be written about this.

Instead, I got this…

…which is quite the opposite of fire in the woodstove.

But you know what? I really like this. And following all the weird twists and turns in my brain allowed me to remember, contemplate, and experience all over again the amazing time when the outside air bobs above and below freezing. Do you remember walking to school and blowing clouds from your mouth? Pausing to examine the overnight lace work on your windows? Crunching grass under your feet? Squinting against the dazzle of a frosted field? Frost is COOL! (Wink, wink.)

Feeling all these feels and reliving all this life is what Georgia and Rebecca would call the magic of poetry. I couldn’t agree more. May we all have a little more magic.

Now, please head on over to Bridget Magee’s blog, wee words for wee ones, where you can read the whole Poetry Friday roundup!

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