Circling Back

I’ve had a day filled with loveliness. The knitted gifts I’ve been making have been arriving at their recipients’ homes, and today I have a text thread full of photos of a friend’s baby son wrapped up and smiling in a blanket I made him, and a Messenger thread of excellent photos of a friend and her daughter and the sweater I sent. Knitting for my friends’ kids has been fun (continues to be fun — I have a couple more items to finish). Seeing and hearing their responses to receiving my boxes full of cozy love makes me feel embraced and warm.

All that love circling back to me is super welcome — any time, but certainly today. Certainly today. I wrote an uncomfortable Golden Shovel for tonight, and thought about ditching it in light of all this love coming my way, but I’m going to post it anyway, stay true to where the poem wanted to go.

The source text tonight is, again, “further note to clark,” by Lucille Clifton. I used this poem as source text back on the 16th. On that day, it put an R.E.M. song in my head. Tonight, it spoke to my feeling of disquiet, of rootlessness in this moment.

I am empty in the
face of my forever question:
what are we here for?
Who do we live and die for? Do you
know how hard this is?

National Poetry Month 2021: the Golden Shovel

As I’ve done for the last forever, I’ve chosen a poetic form, and I’m going to try to write a poem in that form every day for the month of April. I don’t always succeed, but I always give it my best shot. The “Golden Shovel” was created by Terrance Hayes in tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. I learned about it from my friend Sonia (aka Red Emma). I’ll be using Lucille Clifton’s poems as my starting point this month. Here are the rules:

  • Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
  • Use each word in the line (or lines) as the end word for each line in your poem.
  • Keep the end words in order.
  • Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).
  • The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

If you pull a line with six words, your poem would be six lines long. If you pull a stanza with 24 words, your poem would be 24 lines long. And so on.

Should be interesting!

2 thoughts on “Circling Back

  1. So good to see all that well-deserved love circling back to you!

    “Who do we live and die for? Do you
    know how hard this is?”

    Some, regrettably, always will know. Some, just as regrettably, will never know.


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