And the wheel turns …

Today was a good day (well, you know, except for the fact that I bungled the saving of the grant proposal I was working on and had to start from scratch again … after spending hours on it!).  It was warm and sunny and gorgeous.  I got to meet my co-worker’s baby niece — along with said niece’s parents — when I ran into them on the street.  I got to stand around and walk around outside without a jacket (ahhh!) …

I met with my writers’ group last week.  I didn’t bring any writing with me, just went to talk about others’ work and get a little pat on the back for managing to get the fellowship application submitted (and have dinner).  I went empty handed because, as I kept saying to myself and as I said to them, I haven’t been writing.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized how very much not true that is.  I’ve been writing poetry all month, haven’t I?  Ok, I’m not ready for tanka stardom, but I have been writing.  How is it that I was so able to dismiss those poems when it came time to think of ‘real’ work?  There’s definitely something wrong with that picture.

Here’s the tanka I wrote before I sent out the fellowship application:

stamps carrying dreams
I put my heart in the mail
what will come of this
chance to let my mind unwind
words and pictures pour from me.

But it feels like cheating to post one I wrote over a week ago, so here’s this one, too:

her fine-wrinkled hands
grasp tight to keep her balance
what more does she hold
years of working for others
no one stands to let her sit

That’s for each of the older ladies who climbed aboard my bus home this afternoon … and for the three young men lounging in the priority seats at the front of the bus who watched out the window and texted like crazy so they wouldn’t have to see the ladies standing in front of them. Many times people surprise and please me, make me smile. And sometimes they disappoint.


5 thoughts on “And the wheel turns …

  1. Oh wow, this is my favorite so far. “what more does she hold” is so tender and the fact that no one stands contrasts with such a harshness that I felt ashamed for witnessing it, you know? Bravo.


  2. Thanks, Julie. I really struggled with this one, trying to get the lines to do what I wanted. Not so much the syllable count as really having the right feel, the right balance. I wasn’t sure in the end, but I decided to let it go. I’m glad you like it.


  3. Your tanks are well worth mentioning. These two are my favorite.

    When I was living in NY I really didn’t like taking public transportation so I bought a car and tuned the outside out. But you capture the souls and the energy of folk;You make taking a bus, train or taxi an experience to savor.


    1. So funny that you wrote ‘tanks’ … do you know, I type that nearly every time I try to type tanka? How sad and unfortunate that the weapon flows more easily from my fingers than the poetry …


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