from Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
On this last day of April, National Poetry Month comes to a dramatic close with Poem in Your Pocket Day.
I love this day. For weeks I have been preparing: posting poems, reciting poems, and sending postcard poetry. Already this morning, I have been gifted with poetry. Hannah, of the Young Writers (a high school writing group), emailed me a lovely Shel Silverstein ditty; and Julianna, barista at the Green Salmon Coffeehouse, handed me a coffee and one of her favorite poems, Bluebird by Charles Bukowski.
What can be better, I wonder, than standing in this circle of words?
And it was at that age . . . poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, not silence,
but from a street it called me,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among raging fires
or returning alone,
there it was, without a face,
and it touched me.
I didn't know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind.
Something knocked in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first, faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing;
and suddenly I saw
the darkness perforated,
with arrows, fire, and flowers,
the overpowering night, the universe.
And I, tiny being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss.
I wheeled with the stars.
My heart broke loose with the wind.
National Poem in Your Pocket Day is on Thursday, April 30, 2009.
Time to write a poem, post a poem, carry a poem.
Share poems with friends, family, neighbors, strangers.
Isn't this the perfect poem for your pocket?
It hovers in dark corners
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.
It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segment
it is the motion that runs the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born.
It is the singular gift
we cannot destroy in ourselves,
the argument that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God.
It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.
— Lisel Mueller
from Alive Together: New & Selected Poems
Off the Page was off the charts!
Held this past Saturday night, the third annual event packed the house. Over 70 people attended, filling every seat, tabletop and even the floor. Many squeezed in doorways and leaned against walls to enjoy the word extravaganza.
Two days later and I am still buzzing with gratitude — for the encouraging crowd, for the engaging writers, and for the buzz of creativity circling this community.
Books sales were brisk and the table pulsed with eager readers. Did you get your books? If not, no worries. You can still purchase, at the source:
• Words Out Loud, poetry & flash fiction by Khlo Brateng. Go here.
• Kevin's Quicksand, a novel by Sheila Evans. Go here.
• Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose on Alzheimer's Disease, featuring work by Kake Huck, Mark Thalman and Drew Myron. Go here.
• Every Last Cuckoo, a novel by Kate Maloy. Go here.
• Forecast, a horoscope-inspired word-art collaboration by Drew Myron and Tracy Weil. Go here.
• When Movie Was a Band: The True Story of My Short Life as a Rhythm Guitar Player, a memoir by Rick Schultze. Go here.
• Catching the Limit, poetry by Mark Thalman will be published soon. Get updates here.
Special thanks to:
• Green Salmon Coffeehouse for supporting the arts and letting us invade (and rearrange) the space.
• Shamrock Lodgettes for providing rooms for our visiting writers.
• Richard Sharpless for setting a cool-coffeehouse-music vibe.
• Writers far and near, for taking part and sharing words & good spirits.
• An encouraging audience who filled the room with laughter, energy and enthusiasm.