Today is the last day of this Marathon, and the last one in the series of four I’ve done this year – Winter, Spring, Summer, and now Autumn. I am feeling reflective today about the process – one that has meant so much to me. I have written hundreds of poems in the last year as part of the Marathon. I’ve spent a lot of time working out thoughts and feelings. What began as a small idea to help me recover from my past three years of illness and the thought of a cold winter has really gone far beyond those ambitions.
I especially like the fact that in setting aside time to focus on poetry, I give myself the reason to focus on it. If it’s on my calendar, it must be important, right? I then take my work seriously, and that leads me to take all my poetry-writing, Marathon or not, just as seriously. It’s very easy to think self-directed work of this sort, poetry, art, whatever, is not significant, is not worth the time, while so many other things are demanding attention. By giving it its own time, I have changed my attitude about the worth of what I’m doing. I am not judging the results – only readers can do that – but I can judge the effort and the act of expressing myself as worthwhile. That is a priceless thing to me.
On to today. I went to my local Whole Foods grocery, where I’ve been before; I’ve done a lot of writing in their café. I felt the need for a change of environment from the library emphasis I’ve had this Marathon.
As usual the store was busy and the cast of characters and activities changing all day long. It was the kind of lively that fades into background when you want it to and then, when you want to pay attention, there is plenty of inspiration.
And here is today’s choice, just as I typed it. This poem will show you what happens when you feel a little silly and – you get a word like “flustered” in front of you.
Flustered headed for the open cupboard,
brandishing the feather duster,
knocking off the frightened cluster
of china cups glazed in mustard
yellow and poison green. That sort of took the luster
off of Flustered
and so we got a new maid.