I have been having fun with a poetry group during this pandemic. Writing one or more poems a week is a good challenge. Throughout the election and the painful weeks leading up to and including the Inauguration, January 20, 2021, many of my poems spoke of fear and anger and frustration. Then, along came Amanda Gorman with her beautiful, bright, truthful but optimistic poem “The Hill We Climb”, and our group was lit on fire!
I Started To Write – Really Write
First I wanted to write a poem like her’s. I wanted it to tell a story. I listened to how she read that poem over and over again and marked up my printed version with hashmarks every time she took a breath. Then I’d practice reading her words out loud, breaking where she broke, running one sentence into another, pausing to emphasize certain words and I realized that hearing the poem, hearing her read it, made the poem come alive!
Hearing The Words
Hearing the words of the poem sounded so much different/better than simply trying to read the words. And I realize that has been what our poetry group has been for each other. We write then we read it out loud to the group. We can emphasize, pause, and then reflect on the poem when finished. It’s magical!
Now WordPress Had A Podcast Version
So there I was, scrolling through my emails when I see one from WordPress saying that I could easily turn anyone of my blogs into a podcast using Anchor. Now, I’m a curious sort of person so I had tried Anchor once before thinking it would be fun to join the podcast craze but I didn’t last long. But now, the idea of marrying my poems with a podcast seems absolutely perfect. So I’m going to give it a try with this week’s poem(s).
WordPress, if this works, I will be a very happy blog/podcast aspiring poet!
I left a place that I called “home”
But realized that “home” is not a place at all.
A place is rooms with carpeted floors
A box with windows and paint on the wall.
A “home”, on the other hand,
Is much more than that.
A “home” is pictures, and gifts,
and stories from your past.
A “home” is the collection of treasures
from your children’s younger days.
Those things they wanted kept safe
When they moved away.
A “home” is those stubborn plants
They must want to be with me.
They’re still alive!
“Home” is a typewriter,
an old-fashioned pair of shoes,
a harmonica, a magazine rack;
things I could never bear to lose.
“Home is all those things
that I was willing to pack and carry away.
Then, quickly take them out, place them around me.
And then I realize
“Home” never moved away.
Oh, autumn woods, I thank you!
So many lessons learned beneath your trees,
You’ve taught me what to do.
You’ve guided with your gentle breeze.
But it’s time.
Your tree’s brilliant colors captivate!
Reds mixed with yellow and hues of green and brown.
You told each leaf that it’s time to celebrate.
Listen! The leaves are applauding all around.
Change is happening. I can see it in the sky.
Summer’s warmth, while so sublime
Now chillingly says “It’s time to fly.”
Time to let go. It’s time…
Then the winds grow still all around
A quiet respect fills the air.
Geese take to the sky with a mournful sound.
“Good-bye”, they seem to share.
Colors explode with each new day.
Trees still filled with brilliant splendor all around.
Then suddenly the leaves exclaim, “I can no longer stay.”
And they drift, unceremoniously, to the ground.
The leaves are now a burden to the tree
But they did their job and they loved it so.
Drifting, floating, suddenly free
They understand. They need to let go.
The sun peaks out from behind a cloud
Shining, now easily, through branches of the tree.
“Don’t be sad”, it seems to say out loud.
“I’ll put sparkle elsewhere, you’ll see.”
Animals are busy, scurrying about
Gathering food to tuck away.
It’s like they’re telling me, “There’s little doubt
We must prepare for another day.”
Plants, dropping seeds everywhere, you’ll find.
They tell us this is how they survive.
They say, “Leave a little bit of yourself behind.
Then you, too, will stay alive.
Oh autumn woods, it’s so hard to say good-bye.
“Don’t worry, my child, you’ll be fine, you know.
It’s time, now, for you to learn how to fly.
You can do it. You just have to let go.
It’s time, you know. It’s time.