Last Day of National Poetry Month

Today is the last day of National Poetry Month. I met my goal to write a poem every day. Thirty days, thirty poems. Not all of them are keepers, but I think about half are worth a second look on my part, and perhaps a little re-write.

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Buy Socks at JC Penney Day

Today was Buy Socks at JC Penney Day. I celebrated. Did you?

This post has nothing to do with writing. Merely an odd happenstance I felt like sharing.

JC Penney recently mailed out coupons for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more, good from today through May something. My older child has been in dire need of new socks, but we haven’t had a chance to go shopping for them until today. Coupon in hand, off we went to purchase foot coverage.

She made her selections and we lined up at the cash register behind three other people. All holding their $10 coupon and buying socks. And I mean nothing but socks. Not socks and a swimsuit, not socks and a necktie, not socks and some slacks, only socks. Exactly like us.

I can’t decide if it was a function of the weather, which has taken a turn for the wet and chilly this weekend, or perhaps a sign of the economic times. Can people only afford socks when they have a $10 coupon? Have the tight times caused people to be practical with found money? Or it could have been sheer coincidence. But somehow I find myself wanting an explanation. What if it were intended to be a sign to me that I’d found my peeps and I totally missed it, not even striking up a conversation with anyone? Okay, I’m sure it was coincidence.

Alas, we found none this colorful.

Writing Poetry

I’ve always liked poetry. For years, I’ve made a habit of reading at least one poem every day. I do skip a day now and then, but not often.

My writing has focused more on poetry than prose, as well, until about two years ago. Over the past couple of years I’ve been focused on a novel and have been struck with many ideas for short stories, and the poetry has fallen off quite a bit.

But, with the novel more or less finished, I took the arrival of April – National Poetry Month – to get back myself back into the poetic mode. I’ve been writing a poem every day. It’s been good for me. I get a lot out writing in general, but I’m rediscovering the value of writing poetry specifically.

~Edith Södergran said “I don’t create poetry, I create myself, for me my poems are a way to me. ”  For me, this rings true. Even when I compose a bad poem, I often develop new insights in the process. For instance, this month I’ve realized one reason why I still pray sometimes, even though I’m agnostic; it helps me focus on what’s important to me. I guess I could say the same for poetry. I came to this new knowledge of myself because I started writing a poem about prayer.

Writing a poem, too, makes me really look at, listen to, and experience the world in a conscious way. For me, then, poetry is a path of mindfulness, and a way to keep myself connected to the universe.

I’m glad I made the decision to reconnect with my poetic muse. It’s an enriching relationship.

Obligatory Cat Poem

I say obligatory because so many poets write about cats. My family’s cat, Dude, really was a cat in a million, and I loved him unreasonably.

So far, I’ve managed to write a poem every day this April. This is one of them.

Dude

Hang around cat
Amber eyes surrounded by
Orange on orange
All attached to a companionable
Nonchalance
Not a lap cat
Not a fighting cat
Not a recluse cat
But a hang around cat
If you’d been human, you’d always
Have had a light for the buddy’s
Cigarette and a six pack of beer to share
But no advice
Only a thereness for everyone
To come to depend upon
As the humans in your household did
With your catness
Some part of your thereness is still here
Even if you aren’t

April Fool’s Resolutions

The dead of winter doesn’t really seem like a great time for making a fresh start. I think spring, about two weeks in, is more appropriate. So in that spirit, I’ve written a poem containing my April Fool’s resolutions.

April Fool’s Resolutions

Starting today

I resolve to play more tricks
on my family and my friends,
to begin each day practicing
a silly walk,
to lose the weight of serious
introspection.

I will quit all smoking that does
not involve smoke bombs and all drinking
that does not involve a dribble glass.
I will save money
by crafting my own pranks at home;
Handmade is best.

I’ll study hard to learn new jokes.
Reorganize things, though I won’t say
whose.  I’ll seize each opportunity
to get a laugh
But most important of all, I resolve
to watch my back.