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and you always know it when you see it.

Enjoy Connie Sun’s daily cartoon posts.  http://www.conniewonnie.com/

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writing and healing

I tripped across this beautiful, well-constructed website http://writingandhealing.org/ that brings poetry into the self-awareness and healing process.  The Healing Poetry page provides great examples for trying moments.  I enjoyed the reminder of “The Peace of Wild Things.”  Since I’m lacking a woods, my version of this is to sit on the front porch steps in the dark of one in the morning.

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

Ciao Bella Chocolate Sorbet

although I think of Elvis as a two-scoop kind of guy. . .

although I think of Elvis as a two-scoop kind of guy. . .


has a dense
chewy

water to chocolate
ratio

as if a whole
devil’s food cake

were dissolved
in each scoop.

Delivers Elvis-like
indulgence

for only 120 calories.
By the last spoonful,

your whole nervous system
and aura

will be permeated
by the ancient Mayan God.

You will see
through the eyes of Chocolate.

Elaine Equi

My thanks to Poem in your Pocket for providing this delectable dessert for me today.

I attend my first poetry gathering!  It was a lovely April afternoon (again… finally!!) at the Crossroads Coffee House in Cross Plains.  It was a great venue for the little group – they were hospitable and accommodating.  I had very little idea what to expect.  I am a little disappointed no one in a beret showed up; I guess I’m going to have to pick up that gauntlet.  There were some Birkenstocks, though.

The two stars reading were Marilyn Taylor and David Scherer.  Both read for about 20 minutes a great mix of old and newer poetry (even some racy stuff!).  Obligingly, both stayed on for the open-mic session where about ten different poets covered a wide range of poetry.  A few poets recited other’s works.  One gentlemen recited Frost’s Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening from memory and another woman read Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese.  Both had the crowd chanting along to these favorites.

The other poets read wide-ranging topic’d and sized poems.  A first-time reader (with a quirky sense of humor) was also well received.

I learned the protocol and appropriate responses:  most poems get a nod with a “mmm.”  Funny lines get a chuckle.  Applause is given at the end of each reader.  And… I am good enough to do this, too.  Now that I’ve watched from the shore, it’s time to dive in.

Have you read any books by SARK? I’m in a re-read SARK mode lately. I was reminded of a SARK image when I spoke with a friend recently about trust. Something about taking a leap and trust that someone will catch you or you will be given wings to fly. I pulled all her books of my shelves and fliped through them, but I couldn’t find the page I remembered. Now I’m re-reading all her books and all the books she references that call to me. It’s an adventure to read her!!

Find SARK books and beauty here: http://planetsark.com/

“The real thing may change us. Risk it all.” – SARK

“The moment of change is the only poem.” Adrienne Rich
Saturday, February 4, 2012

“Do you want to be the mystic or the scholar?” – Shams-e-Tabriz to Rumi.

According to many sources, Rumi is the best selling poet in America. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,356133,00.html

Cold cliff
weathered tree,
this knobby pated monk. . .
things there’s nothing better than a poem.
Laughs at himself for striving so
to write in the dust of the world,
and scolds old Ts’ang Ko
for inventing writing,
and leading so many astray.
Ching An, 1851-1912

I’ve started reading the entire Emily Dickinson collection of poetry. A few poems each morning and a few each night make a poetic meditation practice of sorts. A few poems a day allow me the time to analyze each poem and dig into her unusual syntax.

Observations so far: She writes so much about nature, reading her poems in nature is nearly overwhelming.  She uses a lot of exclamation points.  She uses Yoda-syntax, i.e., “afraid you are, young Jedi.”  It’s really hard to get “The Yellow Rose of Texas” rhythms out of your head when you read her.  Thanks, Billy Collins and NPR.

Kim Rosen’s book, Saved by a Poem is a marvelous way to explore poetry — and explore it deeply. I didn’t have to memorize any poetry growing up. I’m a little envious of those who did, for they have it with them now. The problem is that most of them had to memorize poems that had no meaning for them: “Charge of the Light Brigade” or such. Of course that left a bad taste in their mouth.

Kim recommends you find a poem that really means something to you, one that touches you, one that you’ll be able to call on later. She provides many examples in her book, along with a CD of spoken poems. Some of the poems are spoken by the poets themselves and some are spoken by her friends.

I decided to start out with a short poem mostly because I had little faith in my memorization ability. I chose Gwendolyn Brooks’ “The Egg Boiler.”

THE EGG BOILER

Being you, you cut your poetry from wood.
The boiling of an egg is heavy art.
You come upon it as an artist should,
With rich-eyed passion, and with straining heart.
We fools, we cut our poems out of air.
Night color, wind soprano, and such stuff.
And sometimes weightlessness is much to bear.
You mock it, though, you name it Not Enough.
The egg, spooned gently to the avid pan,
And left the strict three minute, or the four,
Is your Enough and art for any man.
We fools give courteous ear—-then cut some more,
Shaping a gorgeous Nothingness from cloud.
You watch us, eat your egg, and laugh aloud.

I’ve been working on it for a couple weeks now, off and on. I still don’t have it down completely, but what I’m enjoing most about the exercise is the depth of learning that’s come from repeating each line. The Deep Dive sessions Kim holds (described on her website) sound terribly intriguing.

Get the book or visit Kim’s website to learn more.