Take a Breath

On November Tuesdays on the Poetry page of Writers Digest, Editor Robert Lee Brewer offers dual prompts. He always suggests that you can choose to one or the other or both. I am an Enneagram Seven, and so I am always tempted to do both. Today’s prompt is to write a form poem and/or an anti-form poem.

I have spent entirely too much fluttery energy today trying to create a form poem. I wanted to do a prosey run-on stanza without line breaks, and then suddenly shift into a Rondolet, and back to a prose stanza, but my Rondolets all come out sounding hackneyed and stilted, and my brain is beginning to turn fuzzy, and I still haven’t gotten my lesson plans finished for tomorrow. (You can see how that whole free-association, running sentence thing began to influence my writing.) Plus, I have been feeling tremendous pressure today to create a poem that somehow speaks truth to power on Election Day. In desperation, I just began to type, and tried to settle on something that had a little more form than simply free verse, but that gave me room to breathe a bit.

I am not prepared to sing
at the funeral of democracy,
not ready to recite the ode
that hails her tragic death.

I will not open the door
to the reign of hate and cruelty,
will not welcome the travelers
who enter with bared teeth.

Circle ’round, and let’s tell stories
of the world we hope to see.
Let’s sing songs, and weave spells
of a hopeful future.

Take a breath.
Take a breath.
Take a breath.

Gratitude List:
1. The morning’s cocoon of a moon
2. Golden time in the woods with joyful children
3. Shifting. Perhaps tomorrow morning I’ll feel differently, but right now, I feel a shifting that feels hopeful
4. Carpet otters
5. Stones that speak
May we walk in Beauty!

“Tyrants fear the poet.” —Amanda Gorman

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” ―Brian Jacques

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ―Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” ―Rumi

“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.”
―Bob Dylan

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