Meditation on Dispassion

Day 29 of NaPoWriMo. The prompt, edited for succinctness:

For poet William Wordsworth, a poem was the calm after the storm – an opportunity to remember and summon up emotion, but at a time and place that allowed the poet to calmly review, direct and control those feelings. A somewhat similar concept is expressed through the tradition of philosophically-inclined poems explicitly labeled as “meditations,” …

Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend these concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully.

Not completely on prompt, but this is what I came up with:

Thursday in closet

Meditation on Dispassion

When finding oneself in the disposition of
being where one does not belong, or perhaps of
not belonging where one finds oneself,
it might be of consequence for one to ponder
how that circumstance came to be.

If, for example, one is where one does not belong
due to a displacement of some nature, one might enquire as to
what compulsion or energy caused such an event,
and whether it is a permanent condition, or whether
one might best prepare for subsequent supplantations.

Alternatively, if one does not belong where
one finds oneself, one may have merely been misplaced,
and may therefore be inclined to wonder
what careless entity committed such a dismissive act,
and whether one might perchance some day
in some manner attain one’s proper placement.

It is imperative, however, that one never allow
one’s emotions to surface and escape their
carefully fabricated confines,
lest one come to realize that the
feeling of not belonging where one finds oneself
is – in fact — excruciatingly painful.

Posted in daily prompt, humanity, poetry, serious stuff | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Words and Paint

NaPoWriMo, Day 28

The prompt today deals with:

“the concept of meta-poems – which are poems about poems! In this video, the poets Al Fireis, Lily Applebaum, Dave Poplar, and Camara Brown discuss Emily Dickinson’s ‘We learned the Whole of Love.’ …

And now for our daily (optional) prompt. As you may have guessed, today I’d like to challenge you to try your hand at a meta-poem of your own.

So this is maybe not a proper meta-poem, but after watching about half of the video provided as a resource, this is the impression I was left with:


Words and Paint

Large canvas yawns on studio floor
Cigarette ash lengthens with neglect
Eye sizes up canvas and looks for inspiration
Brushes, paints, splatters, spills
Colors, contrasts, movement, perspective

Figure steps back, surveys result
Artist, art? Crafts-person, handiwork?
Custodian, drop cloth?

♦ ♦ ♦

Blank page of crisp, white paper
Pen taps desk, ink smears
Hand looms over paper and waits for direction
Verbs, nouns, phrases, thoughts
Colors, contrasts, movement, perspective

Figure lifts page, reads and reworks
Poet, poetry? Wordsmith, story?
Shopper, grocery list?

♦ ♦ ♦

Canvas is framed, hung on wall in gallery
Viewers study the painting
Discuss what the artist intended
with each brush stroke or nuanced hue.

Writing is published in journal
Readers study the piece
Discuss word choice and tenor
Delve into the poet’s mindset and meaning.

♦ ♦ ♦

Custodian goes in search of missing drop cloth.
Shopper wonders where they misplaced their list.

Posted in Art as Art, creativity, daily prompt, poetry | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Weekend Wildcard (Flashback #3: Doing it Anyway)

WILDCARD lifting

Flashback #3 in my re-posting from a blog I wrote several years ago about my struggles with depression.

My purpose in revisiting the “old” me is to remind myself and any others who care to read, to:

claim the positive energy that is available to each of us for our own benefit and for the benefit of others.

This is a post from July 14, 2012:

Doing It Anyway

One of the difficulties when trying to work one’s way out of a deep depression is facing the conundrum:  We don’t feel up to doing the things that are going to make us feel up to doing things. At the depths of depression, it might become a challenge even to get out of bed, let alone actually take part in any meaningful activity.

During my various stints in intensive behavioral health outpatient treatment programs (which I prefer to just call “brain school”), I was taught a lot of things about dealing with depression. Some of those things I even remember. Then again, some things I remember probably weren’t really the things they were trying to teach me. So take what I say I learned with a grain of salt.

One thing I learned about doing the work I need to do to get better is that if I don’t think I can do something, or don’t feel I can do it, or don’t believe I can do it, that’s the time to do it anyway.

teddy bearDo what I just said I can’t do? In a word, yes. Maybe I’m telling myself that I can’t get out of bed and face the day. But if my body is physically capable of lifting itself out of the bed, then indeed I can get up. If I survived the challenges of yesterday, chances are I can survive today, too. No matter what it feels like.

And if getting up and doing something is going to help me get up and do things, then perhaps I truly can take that first step. It’s kind of like practicing tough love on myself. Gently, though. Lovingly.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I can’t just turn on a switch and suddenly have the energy, the insight, or even the will to do something, even if I know it would be to my benefit. It’s hard, very hard. But if I can just make a slight movement forward, I can begin to overcome the inertia that feels like a 10,000 ton weight holding me down.

This all comes to mind today because I am heading out on an overnight camping excursion with my daughter. An absolute and utter miracle, if I look back on how I felt four months ago. Back then it was a major undertaking to get myself to the grocery store. Unless I had to buy food for the cats, it was just easier for me not to eat.

I am thankful for the therapists at brain school who told me to just do it anyway.

Wishing you a good day today.

Posted in humanity, prose, serious stuff, Weekend Wildcard | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Only a Dream

NaPoWriMo, Day 26. The prompt:

Write a poem that uses repetition.


Only a Dream

I dreamt last night,
but I can’t recall
what happened in the dream.

I dreamt last night
and when I awoke,
I felt lesser than.

I dreamt last night.
Whatever happened in the dream,
I let myself down somehow.

I dreamt last night,
You were in the dream.
And someone else.

I dreamt last night.
You found out what I did,
but I chose to lie about it.

I dreamt last night.
It didn’t really happen.
I did not let myself down,

nor you.

Posted in daily prompt, humanity, poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Awakes

Day 25 of NaPoWriMo.

Today’s Prompt:

Taking a cue from John Keats’ poem, “To Autumn,” write a poem that (a.) is specific to a season; (b.) uses imagery that relates to all five senses; (c.) includes a rhetorical question, like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”

I’m so enjoying the warmer weather of late, and all the greenery, I couldn’t imagine writing about any season other than Spring.


Spring Awakes

In increments imperceptible to most,
light of day expands, hours of dark recede,
and life erupts from warming soil;
sprung from damp earth, a geyser of green,

gushing through garden and bramble and lawn,
flowing up trees, pushing sap as it surges,
splitting through soft bark of branches and twigs,
spewing leaves and blooms when at last it emerges.

While Steller’s jays gather moss for their nests,
the smaller scrub jay and a petulant crow
vie for clear title to raspiest call; and
collared doves hide in tall trees, and echo:

who Whoo who, who Whoo who.

Who planted the bulbs shooting up through the duff?
sacheted hyacinth, tulip and dainty blue bell,
bouquets laced with pungent rosemary sprigs,
and laid atop carpets of soft lemon basil;

as dandelions and dead nettle wait to serve tea.

Posted in Animalia, daily prompt, nature, poetry | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Tax Day

Columbia River bank

April Fifteen, Tax Day.
Doesn’t much matter to me, mine are pretty simple.
No investments, no dependents, one job.

On the job that day, as a matter of fact.
Working the southbound toll booth
where traffic comes off the bridge that crosses
the mighty Columbia.

A truck has stalled somewhere on the span.
A state police car passes northbound and,
several minutes later, returns.
I flag it through; no toll for State vehicles.
It stops anyway.

“You’re Margaret, right?” the trooper asks.
Well, not really… that’s my first name,
but I go by my middle name.
My driver’s license, however,
would show Margaret.

The trooper, who apparently has run my license plate,
invites me for coffee when my shift ends.
I accept.

April Fifteen, seventeen years later.
That’s the day our divorce papers go through.
Like many other folks I know,
I do not like Tax Day.

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge: Anniversary

Posted in humanity, poetry, serious stuff | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday 4.24.19

rhodie 1

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 2 Comments