Remix

The prompt today is to remix an earlier poem from the month. I don’t think I have quite fulfilled the brief, as they say on the reality contest shows–it might be more of a revision than a remix, but I’ve worked on it so much already, and I need to get on to other things in my day. Sigh. But I do definitely feel better about this poem than I did about the first version. I paid more close attention to sound and progression, and even though it remains free verse, I tightened up the rhythm a bit.

Shrug your shoulders
or tug out your hair,
dig a hole in the cliff,
or rig a ship to sail
away from here:
you’ll never evade the struggle,
for you carry the struggle
within you.

And even if you do hand
the Ferrywoman her due,
or pay the piper for a tune,
or grow the magic beans
or lower your vision,

eventually the only way out,
as they say, is through.


Gratitude List:
1. The way, when a cat stretches, I feel the relaxing of tension in my own spine
2. Many different-colored markers
3. Pecan pie
4. I threw a stone of release into the River today, and I felt the release deep within me
5. The messages in dreams
May we walk in Beauty!


“There are no shortcuts to wholeness. The only way to become whole is to put our arms lovingly around everything we’ve shown ourselves to be: self-serving and generous, spiteful and compassionate, cowardly and courageous, treacherous and trustworthy. We must be able to say to ourselves and to the world at large, ‘I am all of the above.’” —Parker Palmer


Solace is your job now.”
—Jan Richardson


Joy Harjo:
“When I woke up from a forty-year sleep, it was by a song. I could hear the drums in the village. I felt the sweat of ancestors in each palm. The singers were singing the world into place, even as it continued to fall apart. They were making songs to turn hatred into love.”


“The history of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and the agreed myth of its conquerors.”
―Meridel Le Sueur


“I never want to lose the story-loving child within me, or the adolescent, or the young woman, or the middle-aged one, because all together they help me to be fully alive on this journey, and show me that I must be willing to go where it takes me, even through the valley of the shadow.”
―Madeleine L’Engle


“Alas, the webs are torn down, the spinners stomped out. But the forest smiles. Deep in her nooks and crevices she feels the spinners and the harmony of their web. We will dream our way to them …
…Carefully, we feel our way through the folds of darkness. Since our right and left eyes are virtually useless, other senses become our eyes. The roll of a pebble, the breath of dew-cooled pines, a startled flutter in a nearby bush magnify the vast silence of the forest. Wind and stream are the murmering current of time, taking us back to where poetry is sung and danced and lived. … In the distance a fire flickers – not running wild, but contained, like a candle. The spinners.” —Marylou Awiakta, Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother’s Wisdom


“Do it right, because you only got one time to walk this earth. Make it good, make it a good thing.” —Grandmother Agnes “Taowhywee” (Morning Star) Baker Pilgrim (1924-2019)

Let Your Poem Out to Breathe

IMG_2158
Artist at work.

Today we will do the revision,
the re-make, the whole re-creation.
Today, we bleed.
Read it, and read it again.
Does it say what it means to?
Then get out your scalpel,
excise and re-shape,
find the new form hidden
beneath the words.
Let your poem out to breathe.

Gratitude List:
1. Bruce’s spinach and feta scones
2. I got my copy of Valerie Baer’s Baking With Whole Grains
3. Pot luck
4. Revising.  The poem, the plan, the purpose, even.
5. Getting Ready for Spoken Word Play.  Memorizing.  Seeing Daina and Marie again.  Feeling the shape of the poems on the stage.

May we walk in Beauty!