A Photo Challenge Poem

549389_332304733546166_1989059635_nI wrote a post last year. It was in response to another writer who was musing on patterns, which is an interesting read all its own if you want to follow links, but this post is about writing and poetry from another angle…

Recently I’ve been musing on the lyricism and rhythms of poetry. Walt Whitman has captured my imagination in this regard. I would love to bring more music to my writing. (Practice, practice.) I’ve also been studying the poetry that seems to drop the reader into a snippet of the writer’s ongoing stream of consciousness. You might say that poetry is always like this, but Michael Vizsolyi is a particular inspiration for this. In any case, I woke thinking about this blog and another blog I’ve had for years now. Last year, I felt awkward about writing and having a voice in the world. I still do really. I don’t know what my message is in the world as a writer. At least until I have something to say. Between the times I have anything to say, I feel my “voice” is useless, but it used to feel less useless in the world; that is to say, it felt useless left often. But even then, I’ve shut the blog off at times. Sometimes for as much as a year. Sometimes its lain fallow in open publication for months without a new post. Usually during times of great change, because my writing was about processing life as a human being. Perhaps I felt it was too unpolished or too foolish, or too…Just too, that’s all. I would turn it off or not post because I felt so vulnerable and naked with the world looking on. At least the part of the world I know. Often I’d go blog some place anonymously or privately.

Today, I woke thinking about my old post and its picture of birch trees, which I’ve included here. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s interesting how images can haunt you. As I lingered with it in my mind, I had the urge to turn my old blog back on and to find that voice again, the voice of the spiritual woman who is sharing her journey in a simple way without pretension. It’s imperfectly edited. It’s not even edited. I write it out. I publish and move on. The same way we do when we journal or we tell a friend about our lives. Yet in focusing on writing as an art, I focus on the points which are not polished and fiddle with them endlessly trying to make the shine. When I look at the blogging custom I have always had of write-then-publish, that editor in me squirms and gnashes her teeth. But the muse hates the way that editing-self reels her in and stifles spontaneity.

I will likely never really feel comfortable with the two co-existing with a blog, the way they will play so nicely together when I hope to more professionally publish those things I hold back and fiddle with and try to get published at some place with a paid editor. And I wonder, should I have no voice in the blogging world at all? Does spontaneity breed a sense of unprofessionalism? Thus I changed this blog to more obviously be about the draft; not the finished product. Drafting is the purely creative process. It gradually grows polished to be sure, but it’s never perfect. No one expects it to be either.

In any case, I woke today mulling that beautiful image and I felt a poem composing itself. I had to get up for a pen. Here it is in nearly first draft; after all, it got edited ever so little when transposing from pen to keys:

White with speckled black swatches
Trunks lined and clumped with grasses
A luminous green blanket hovering
Above like a hug never quite
Descending it lingers in the breezes
That refresh me this girl played
Ring around the rosie and rosie
And…wove again endlessly then because
There were so many trees so
Many there were no end were there
Ever so many then? It seems
The land barely remembers…

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