Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 23

You may be familiar with my Poetry Marathons – I’ve done them since January, 2015. I take a week, several times a year, and devote it to poetry – writing, editing, all poetry-related activities.

This year I have decided to do one segment of a Marathon each week. Two to three hours set aside for poetry, outside my regular life. It’s called the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon.

For more background information, look here. And if you want to read previous posts in this series, search this blog under the term Installment Plan Poetry Marathon 2017.


On June 7, I was back at Logue Library, Chestnut Hill College, on a cool and cloudy day. I arrived in a fluster a little before 10 AM. Though it was not late, I’d already taken my husband to a doctor’s appointment about his knee, dropped him off at home so he could pick up his car and go to work, run inside to get my things for marathoning, and zipped over to the school.

Parking the car in the pleasantly empty lot (I continue to enjoy the feeling of being at the school with no students around) I realized I needed to calm down.

So, before I went inside, I decided to visit the Peace and Reconciliation Garden. It is located in an interior courtyard accessed from Fournier Hall, and is dedicated to just what you would think from its name. It’s not an elaborate setup – pink and red roses, small pathways in the grass to walk on, and a little statue of St Francis peeking out above the pink blooms.

 

I felt more collected after a few minutes here and went over to the library.

 

And, my desk was waiting for me. I got things all set up.

 

 

I decided to go over last week’s work first to ease my mind into the thinking process. Maybe I’m deluding myself, but it seems to me that the poems I write in these sessions are not needing so much work to get them in shape when I look them over the next week. Either I am getting less persnickety or I am, through exercise, building up my poetry-writing muscles and getting better results earlier on.

Well, we’ll see. Here are some samples from today’s work.

 

This first poem is inspired by work that a friend of mine is doing with Luna moths – she has been “raising” some caterpillars in North Carolina that have just hatched into moths. (I hope I have described that process correctly). Lovely photos she sent me, and the moths are beautiful, they have no mouths, and they live only one week as moths, but of course they had a caterpillar life before that.

1.
Emerge
shake out your wings
they must air-dry
wrinkle-free
before you can go
you hope no one sees you
you have no way to call out.

Fly
into the night
those same wings
exquisite pale and good for a week
no more
a week wears you out

Remember
not a thing
about what went before
you first stepped out
of your cocoon
to wait while your wings
prepared themselves
this life too short
to waste

We can’t seem to get out of our weather pattern of cool gray rainy days. Here is a sijo on that topic. I’m still new to this form, so I hope I’m carrying it out with some faithfulness to the tradition.

4.
The dull sky spills endless rain, offers showers, sends down drizzle.
Trees leaf out double-strong green in overgrown suburban yards.
Umbrellas, a moving rainbow of bright colors, fill the sidewalks.

And some handwriting snippets.

b.
a bolt of lightning
an electrical circuit
grinning and showing a lot of teeth

c.
I finish writing this note to old friends
by the end of it
we are no longer friends

d.
I ask you, my friends the flying insects,
how about a small slice of cake?
It’s my secret recipe.

f.
three innocent kittens
the equivalent of two cups of white sugar
in sweetness

n.
My mind a nexus of all memories
I can see inside the veins of a leaf
but my emotions are a mystery to me


And a bonus today. I found these library cards in the trash. With computer checkout, they are no longer needed and I guess the librarians are weeding them from the books? Anyway, I grabbed some. Maybe good for some art project?

 

Thank you for reading, and see you next week, I hope.

 

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9 thoughts on “Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 23

  1. I think you are right about the quality of the work you’ve been doing because the selection today are all really strong. And what an amazing find! Those cards are like finding treasure. I look forward to spotting them in your artwork.

  2. Emotions are indeed a mystery.
    I’ve had the luck to see Luna Moths more than once. What a wonderful idea, to raise them.
    And library cards! What a treat! (K)

  3. It was a jackpot day at the library! My friend has taken many courses in nature and has several certifications – she just moved to NC and has recently gotten involved with organizations there, they are doing a lot of cool things. She has certainly exposed me to topics I’d never heard of – like these moths.

  4. I enjoy the progression of colour in your Sijo and ‘leaf out double-strong green’ is exactly what’s happening around here these days. Also enjoyed your haiku especially the letter writing epiphany and seeing the veins of a leaf while own emotions are harder to see.

  5. Thank you, we are having a wet spring and everything green is really green! That’s what started me off, that and the continuing – gray – and then the umbrella thing appeared in my mind. Unexpected colors, that’s what got me going.

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