Sunday’s theme of journey is still rattling around my head. But I won’t be offering a nice visual poetry graphic today. It’s not that I have gone off quotation poems. But, maybe I am anticipating the shift as of the beginning of next month. As of the first of August I will be receiving a daily prompt in my email inbox from Angela T. Carr’s Dreaming Skin blog here on WordPress for a freewrite free for all for thirty days. As of the first of August I will be closing in on a full 365 days of writing a poem a day and posting it here, which began back on 15th September 2018. I have explored in what my friend Sheri dubbed “The Poetry Daily” many kinds of poetry form, many themes. I have responded to current events, had a bit of a vent at times, deflected grief and dipped down into it. Much of the time I may be trying to connect all the dots just for myself. But I have also had individuals tell me that some speak to their condition, and that some days they may even help. Those kind words have kept me at it.
While I was exploring technique and form, writing a poem a day and posting it to make sure I was really sticking at it became a form of spiritual practice, a way of interrogating my soul at times. The creative process is sometimes mysterious. But it is also as mundane as just showing up and picking up the notebook and pen and trusting that something will appear. And it does. I have confidence in this process. I also know that it is good for me. It literally has pushed me out of my comfort zone. The morning sloth of six decades may not be a chirpy morning lark, but she is up. And in the quiet of a snoozing house she is writing. I also allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to put out my less than spit polished babies on show in public. I let go of ideals of perfection for simply the act of doing the work. Perfectionism can be death to risking all for art making. I just called it practice. And it is a practice. But it is also, on days when everything aligns, making poetry.
I commend this practice to you.
As for the daily poem for the Poetry Daily this Monday I found myself musing about explorers encountering something new or unexpected. Journeying out, migrating is just part of the human experience. We are more journey makers than settlers. Trying to make people stay put is futile. They hungered for new worlds and wealth from before the fifteenth century. They put a man on the moon in the twentieth century. But what do we do when we go from here to there? Do we go in peace and friendship?
It is in our blood, the urge to explore.
How did it feel, conquistador
to pitch up in the southern hemisphere,
find the seasons all upside down?
Did your wide smile turn into frown
when you foun no Eternal Summerland
in Brazil, no Fountain of Youth
in Florida? No stepping off
The Wheel. Did you decide then to conquer
Mother Nature? To rape and take,
to exert your will, to punish
Fortuna for making you feel a fool?
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