Thursday
May042017

Thankful Thursday: Whisper & Swell

 


How the world opens its arms  
 

The day rests with a swell of lilac.

And the blue, see how it swoons

across the wide open sky, and how

now the day has made room for

beauty, waiting just long enough

to hear us whisper amen


— Drew Myron

 

 

Because attention attracts gratitude and gratitude expands joy, 

 I make room for Thankful Thursday.
 

What are you thankful for today? 



Sunday
Apr302017

Keep on Poeming!

Last week I asked:
What poem is in your hand, in your head, in your heart? 

The response was vibrant, and I'm heartened to know that poetry thrums and thrives in our lives. As we wrap up National Poetry Month, I'm sharing some of the poems I've enjoyed — thanks to you, dear readers, writers & poetry appreciators. 

 * * * 

"This poem is knocking my socks off," writes Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Colorado's Western Slope Poet Laureate:


Life While-You-Wait

Life While-You-Wait.

Performance without rehearsal.

Body without alterations.

Head without premeditation.

I know nothing of the role I play.

I only know it’s mine. I can’t exchange it.

I have to guess on the spot

just what this play’s all about.

Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,

I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.

I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.

I trip at every step over my own ignorance.

I can’t conceal my hayseed manners.

My instincts are for happy histrionics.

Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.

Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.

Words and impulses you can’t take back,

stars you’ll never get counted,

your character like a raincoat you button on the run —

the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.

If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,

or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!

But here comes Friday with a script I haven’t seen.

Is it fair, I ask

(my voice a little hoarse,

since I couldn’t even clear my throat offstage).

You’d be wrong to think that it’s just a slapdash quiz

taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.

I’m standing on the set and I see how strong it is.

The props are surprisingly precise.

The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.

The farthest galaxies have been turned on.

Oh no, there’s no question, this must be the premiere.

And whatever I do

will become forever what I’ve done.

 

— Wislawa Szymborska

 

* * * 


Jeanie Senior, a journalist and poetry appreciator, recalls one of her favorite poems:


Dover Beach


The sea is calm to-night. 

The tide is full, the moon lies fair 

Upon the straits; - on the French coast the light 

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! 

Only, from the long line of spray 

Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land, 

Listen! you hear the grating roar 

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 

At their return, up the high strand, 

Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 

The eternal note of sadness in. 

 

Sophocles long ago 

Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought 

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 

Of human misery; we 

Find also in the sound a thought, 

Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

 

The Sea of Faith 

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd. 

But now I only hear 

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 

Retreating, to the breath 

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 

And naked shingles of the world. 

 

Ah, love, let us be true 

To one another! for the world, which seems 

To lie before us like a land of dreams, 

So various, so beautiful, so new, 

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 

And we are here as on a darkling plain 

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 

Where ignorant armies clash by night.

 

— Matthew Arnold

 

 * * * 

 

Shirley McPhillips, author of Acrylic Angel of Fate, shared her own poem:


Shaking Off the Village

  — after Wanderlust


Today, I walk--cloud-gaze, woolgather,

meander--because it is slow.

 

I take leave of my senses, do nothing

in particular, with nobody, all alone.

 

Today, I do not make a sacred pilgrimage

or walk for justice or freedom

or any global good.

 

I walk to shake off the village

where a false urgency of devices

moves faster than the speed of thought,

 

or thoughtfulness. I saunter--my feet

equally at home in every place--taste

the essential wildness of presence.

 

Steps add up like taps on a drum

to the rhythm of breathing

and the beating of the heart.

 
— Shirley McPhillips

 

 * * * 

 

Woesha Hampson shares a poem she wrote:


Painting in the Yard


Mother Nature paints, our yard her canvas. 

Watching needles falling, I find solace. 

A dog drops a rag doll. A girl appears. 

She spots the doll, smiles, wipes away her tears. 

Squirrels bury walnuts, hide them in pots, 

large and small. They are brazen as a fox. 

 

A young deer passing by, sees me. He walks 

through the rain. Circling above are two hawks. 

A flicker bathes briefly in the bird bath. 

Through bushes, the dog returns on the path. 

Evergreen and fruit trees, flowers, and plants 

are caddywampus after a rain’s dance. 

 

 — Woesha Hampson

 

 

As the hoopla of Poetry Month subsides, we know poetry lives in the everyday, in what we do and what we say. Keep on poeming!

 

 

Monday
Apr242017

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows

It's April and the world hums with poems. 

Time to get in the groove for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

(Yes, it's a real thing). 

Here's how:
 
1.  Pick a poem. 
 
2.  Carry it with you. 
 
3.  Share it.

The result? The world thrums with the beauty of poetry. 
Poem in Your Pocket Day is on Thursday, April 27, 2017.
 

So, tell me:

What's in your heart & on your page?

What do you clutch & what do you give away?

What poem is in your pocket?

 


Friday
Apr142017

Where Art Is Made

 

Where Art Is Made


We are builders, makers, hopers, doers.

From clunkers and junkers,

out of shards and clay,

we shape and frame, sort and stir.

Each of us turning grime into gold.

 

Against fence and lock,

a door swings, a window opens,

a sunflower reaches for a fresh day.

 

Everything is always growing.

 

Dirt dusts places not yet alive

and in this gravel of possibility,

we honor the old and worn, the faded and frail,

know that good bones are worth holding.

 

Deep against rock, trains clack and roll,

we press into paper, scissors and paint,

splattered, gathered, mixed.

 

With each ding-ding-ding, solid freight

floats our dreams and we clatter, wide awake

in dark, in light, in love and hope.

 

The day opens, the sky widens, you are here.

Hand in hand, arm in arm, each grip

is a dare to you declared:

 

Breathe, work, sear and sculpt.

Sew and hold, paint and saw.

Mix and mingle. Break rules, break ground.

Create your self, your world, your now.

 

On the bridge of progress, we dance and dive,

wonder, wander, taste and make.

 

With each how and why and what next?

we dig in and reach out

to build in the mind,

a step, a ladder, another sky.

 

Let’s scaffold the unknown.

In every thing, promise.

 

— Drew Myron

 

I love a good collaboration, and this special project brought together all my faves: image, sound & words.

"Where Art Is Made," by Futuristic Films, celebrates the many makers who continue to shape and define the River North Art District (RiNo) in Denver, Colorado. Conceived by Tracy Weil, RiNo's Co-Founder/Creative Director, the film features the spoken word talent of Toluwanimi Obiwole, Denver's first Youth Poet Laureate (2015), and an original poem by Drew Myron (me!). 

As we celebrate National Poetry Month, this artful blend is proof that poetry lives in everything, everywhere, every day.

 

 

Wednesday
Apr052017

It's Poetry Month. Let's Write! 

According to Chinese tradition, a garden landscape without poetry is not complete. Poetry, along with rocks, architecture, water, and plants, is one of the five necessary elements of a Chinese garden. 

I'm honored to celebrate National Poetry Month at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. Please join me for this free workshop. 

Come to Your Senses
 a writing workshop

Lan Su Chinese Garden 
Portland, Oregon 

Wednesday April 12, 2017

3 to 4:30pm

Free with admission. 

Writing comes alive with the detail our senses provide. Using the sense of smell as a trigger, we’ll focus on fresh writing with prompts and practices designed to energize and inspire. 

From poetry to prose, fact to fiction, this 90-minute workshop will serve as a creative springboard in which you’ll generate new work, meet other writers, and share experiences that will help shape, shift and propel your own writing.

This workshop is free with admission to Lan Su Garden, and open to writers of all ages, experience & interests. No registration is required. Drop in, bring pen, paper & your writing mind. 

About Lan Su Chinese Garden
One of Portland, Oregon’s greatest treasures, Lan Su Chinese Garden is more than just a beautiful botanic garden. It’s an inspiring experience based on a 2,000-year-old Chinese tradition that blends art, architecture, design and nature in perfect harmony. 

About the Instructor
Drew Myron is a former newspaper reporter and editor who has covered news, arts, entertainment and travel for AOL, Northwest Best Places and other publications. For over 15 years, she’s headed a marketing communications company specializing in literacy, health and advocacy for the vulnerable. Drew is the author of several books and art collaborations.