Raprochement, Part 2

Or perhaps instead of “Part 2” I should say, “pas de deux,” since I seem to have dancing in mind a lot lately. Last night I wrote about an imagined reunion with an old love. Tonight I’m thinking about the epistolary flirtation that provided a welcome shift in focus during some of the rougher moments of the past year. Hey, it’s spring and sometimes this is where my brain goes …

The sources text for tonight’s Golden Shovel is, at last, some lines from Lucille Clifton’s poem, “to thelma who worried because i couldn’t cook.” I’ve been looking at these two lines every day this month, and not hearing what I could do with them, just knowing that I loved them. What I’ve written doesn’t match what I had in mind, but I’m okay with it.

Distraction

In this season of thorns, you revealed yourself a rose
climbing toward sunlight, always looking up
yet firmly planted here, solid like
the trunk of an oak or a 
stubborn resolution. While I -- pliable as dough -- 
watched, hesitated, questioned. And
tried not to trust, waiting for the bubble to burst.
And a year later, still cloistered in
our separate spaces, tentatively approaching the
world outside, you send brick oven
pizza, flowers, fruit. What am I to make of
any of that, of you and your
insistent, slow-burning hunger?

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!

Rapprochement

My earworm tonight has been “Working My Way Back to You,” by The Spinners. I haven’t thought about or heard this song in ages — and my inner sound track has been just about all Prince all the time this week (of course) — but tonight it’s been The Spinners on a loop in my brain:

I keep working my way back to you, babe
With a burning love inside
Yeah, I'm working my way back to you, babe
And the happiness that died
I let it get away
Been payin' every day

So I let it fold itself into my writing tonight, imagining meeting up with The Morphine Man after all these years. The source text for this Golden Shovel is Lucille Clifton’s poem “1994.”

I almost cannot recognize you
and maybe you don't know
me in this old woman's face. Tell me about
books, your hands, all of the
music you're listening to, your fear
of dying alone. I welcome the
sound of your voice, even though it tears
at me with its reminders of the
way it sounded in anger, in denial. The scar
twinges when you laugh, and I think of
the space between us, not with regret but disbelief

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!

Two Left Feet

Slightly better life choices today, which is encouraging. And one excellent surprise gift that fell into the lap of one of the programs I oversee. It will require a crazy amount of work on the part of the tiniest part of our team, but it will definitely be worth it in the end. A nice way to close the work week.

The source text tonight is, once again, “further note to clark” by Lucille Clifton. I wouldn’t have guessed how fertile that poem would be for me. This is the third — or fourth? — Golden Shovel using that poem as the jump-off point.

Change Partners

I am a painful dancer ... what
to do with my awkwardness? I
move forward, left, right, back ... moves that can
never quite meet yours. We smile, silently promise
to forgive, to keep trying, to indulge, to
do better. But perhaps what I need you to be,
what I need you to do is --
at last -- release me. Let me slip through your hands like water.

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!

Keep Moving Forward …

Whew. A long day full of bad choices. Best to post quickly and move on. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better. No … more necessary: here’s promising myself that tomorrow will be better. Sigh.

The source text for tonight’s poem is Lucille Clifton’s “wild blessings,” which is such an excellent title, and such an excellent piece.

Anniversary

We stand together, you and I.
Who you are, who I am
for all of it, I'm grateful.
I have given so much for
this chance, this time -- many
compromises yielding many blessings.

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!

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!