I Promised Fluffy Chicks and Joy

Behold!

This cutie turned 23! this week. (Girl, not chick.)

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.

A is for an Abundance of Poetry!

I fell in love with poetry when I could still sit on my mother’s lap. To me, it is irresistible. I think I’ve wanted to be a poet ever since. As early as second grade I was trying to flex my rhyming skills. (Actual poem I wrote for Mother’s Day.)

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Candy is sweet

And you’re neat!

And of wonder of wonders, I was published,(PUBLISHED!) in the local paper in fourth grade.

Profound, I know. Of course, to follow up on this writing success, I stopped writing poetry completely. High school and beyond was a poetry desert. Which could have been the whimpered end to my poetry career.

But, a few years ago, this old dog decided to learn some new tricks. I took classes, attended webinars even before we were all Zoom-dependent, and read and read and read. I found a welcoming community of writers who were willing to read my clunky, ham-handed drafts, encourage me to keep going, and offer up their own work as master class for me.

Paraphrasing Stephen King, if you have sent your writing into the world and received money for it, if your writing has paid a bill, you are a professional. Finally, finally, I sit here today, a professional poet, completely hooked (obsessed).

This is the first National Poetry Month that I comfortably claim “poet” in my bio. Now that I am in the community of poets, honestly, April is… a little overwhelming. Every poet I know is cranking out daily poems, participating in daily readings, visiting schools virtually and in person, etc., etc. It’s a lot.

It’s too much for me. If there’s one thing I have learned about my writing process, it’s that I am a S…L…O…W writer. I need time to let thoughts percolate, to dig in and figure out what I really want to say, to face the deep emotions. So here’s my plan.

I will write what I can for the love of writing. I will visit many blogs and poet’s websites. I will participate in a progressive poem. I will share one spoken poem with kids across the world. And I will read, read, read. Come join me.

Find the progressive poem here

1 April 1 Irene at Live Your Poem
2 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta @ The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

Watch poetry readings here

http://www.poetryboost.com/

Happy April!

%d bloggers like this: