Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19 and SO FAR BEHIND!!!

I'm not giving up. I'm still going to write a poem for each day of this month. But it is definitely taking some time.

I've realized something important...there is great truth to what Alice Walker said when I saw her speak a few years back in Hickory: Writers need TIME. In order to write, you must have a lot of down time. You must have a lot of alone time. You must have time that to others looks suspiciously like loafing, but which is really the incubator for creativity.

Without time to stroll around your yard talking to trees, time to sit perfectly still and stare aimlessly at the moon, time to lean back against a wall and feel the cool of the earth against your legs...without this, the brain has no time to process do that alchemy that is turning an impression into words.

And sadly folks, this is a thing I do not have right now. My days fly by in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, meal-cooking, laundry-doing, question-answering, tadpole water-changing, boo-boo kissing, kid-ferrying, toddler-cajoling insanity. I careen from one needy person to another administering love and food and occasional reprimands and by the end of each very long day, after all the little monsters are tucked in their beds, I crumple into a shapeless heap on the sofa, barely a single brain cell sputtering.

This, my friends, is the stuff of life and often the stuff of inspiration, but it doesn't allow me to write a poem every single freakin' day for crying out loud! (((sigh)))

Alas, I shall perservere. One day I will actually get to my goal and have a full April of poems here for all to read and enjoy or else grimace at.

So...poem for April 15 is this:

Do you know what this is?
asks my neighbor's daughter
who is three. I look at her
etch-a-sketch with one square
and one rectangle one
inside the other, and I say,
It's a building.

Well, no, she says, of course
not. So, preoccupied
with grownup things, I mumble,
It's a box, because that is what
I see. But her sea-green eyes crackle
with mirth at my stupidity
and she patiently explains,

It is a robot tummy.

And so it is.
She is absolutely right.
And for just one moment
her fairy hands have pulled
me, dark and ponderous,
back into the light
of childhood.

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