While doing my daily Calm, Tamara Levitt talked about how poetry is healthy to heal wounds, relieve stress.
If you’re curious grab your writing instrument of choice and write as fast as you can for half a page, let the words fall from your fingers, let them plop on the page. Throw up, throw a tantrum, Ramble and jumble your way to the middle of the page. It’s ok to write a full page, and if you can’t stop, continue until you do.
Now go through what you wrote and find bits and pieces that you like. Highlight or under line them. Could be a word, could be a phrase. Gather them up, arrange them on the page. The poem that follows was done just that way, and it may not resonate with you, it may bore you to tears, it might tell you why you’ve always hated poetry, but for me, it’s a note from myself, a hint or a clue on what to do, where to look.
Tonight I have a date with my wife, to sit on the deck and watch the sun set. It’s the first time since the Autumnal Equinox that the sun sets on the ocean, just past Pedro Point. She’s headed north, where she’ll reach the end of her travels on summer solstice. She’ll pause to enjoy the long artic days before racing back for the Autumnal Equinox when she’ll set behind Pedro point for the next six months. My wife and I will hold hands, watch the sun set and bask in the glow of our 34th wedding anniversary.
Last year I took a class called Flash Memoir, from Osher Life Long Learning in San Francisco. We were taught, by author Diane Frank, how to shine a bright light on a precious moment from our life. I wrote several short passages and one of them was published this month inWorm Wood Press Media.
The piece I submitted was Turn to the Sea and it was paired with a lovely coastal image by an artist I have yet to meet,Wendy Setzer.
You can see read the poem and gaze at Wendy’s art right here.
The green glows like electricity. It’s everywhere in the forest. It’s on the ground, stuck on twigs like christmas decoration. I get lost by moving it. The electriciy goes dim, the sky turns blue, my wrist begins to throb.
A beast lives deep in the valley, out of sight, lonely, blue, true to its nature. Heaven and earth cannot move it into the light until it decides for itself. Footsteps crunch bark, boasting its strength as the day heat dims. While the town goes to close, the beast’s wide eyes glow bright red, so fierce they could start a fire.
The wind pulls tufts of moss from the tall pine, with the broken branch that healed itself, then started growing down until it fused with a granite slab and made a seat large enogh for a family of four.
Over the mountains the clouds drift east until I stop to ponder their movement. Then they stand still, quiet like fog.