Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Goodbye Poem

In November, I resumed my one-month-on, one-month off, poem-a-day practice, writing a poem a day on a chalkboard, posting a picture of it on Instagram, plus the picture and poem text on Facebook. 

I also posted in a Facebook group dedicated to 30 minutes a day of creativity for the 30 days of November, to help creative people through that difficult month, including several performing artists who cannot perform in their usual ways. I was inspired by all their new and unusual ways of being/staying creative and the small daily ways we can be creative and keep our spirits up. 

And I was touched again by how many people enjoyed and responded to my tiny chalkboard poems. I did this in July and September, too, and I was moved and delighted then by the outpouring of love and appreciation. People are sad when I say goodbye.

My last few poems in November became people's favorites, as if I was finally warming up just before I had to stop. That's how it goes sometimes! But I knew I needed a rest and a shift in December, and to move the chalkboard down to the basement again. I yearned for a Christmas tree, and that might mean a furniture rearrangement. Yes, indeed. Where the chalkboard once stood, in front of the poetry bookcases in my home office, I have put a nice rocking chair for reading, moved from the living room to make room for the tree. Decorating the house and the tree has been one of those small, daily ways of being/staying creative!

Lots of people liked my tiny poem about singing to my kids:

Grown Children

I sang to them,
their whole small lives,
and sometimes now
they burst into my wild
hilarious songs!

November 25, 2020

And lots identified with the blues in this one:


Sad in a cozy
little way, wrapped in a blue
blanket, reading a blue
book of short stories.

November 27, 2020

A co-worker painted watercolors in response to two of my poems--one about wind, one about the wind blowing a "sideways mum" into my yard--and someday maybe we can hang her paintings and my poems along with other staff art in the little art gallery in our public library! Someday when people can return and the gallery isn't full of quarantine bins of returned library materials...

History Lesson

Yesterday the wind
rode thuglike through, disbanding
the organized leaves.

November 16, 2020


The wind blew a sideways mum
into our yard, pulled from its pot
still blooming, the way my mind
tips out sometimes, lost and unlikely.

November 22, 2020

People liked this one a lot, often mentioning the image in lines I almost cut!

All the Way Light

It’s all the way light now,
even a sheen of light
frost on the grass, grill, picnic table,
like the ghost of summer caught napping,
soon to wake invisible.

November 28, 2020

I almost cut "the ghost of summer" in case it was too cheesy or unclear, though somehow that was exactly what I was seeing out the window. Glad I trusted myself and my readers! Likewise, the colors in this little poem inspired a variety of responses and moods, and several locals had stood as transfixed by the sunrise as I was!

Before Breakfast

the sky was striped pink.

Softly, then, suffused by gold,
it slipped into tangerine peel,
then sliced peach
on a pale blue china plate.

November 29, 2020

"The Goodbye Poem" came out blurry, captured my mix of feelings, and seemed to provoke a similar mix in my readers. I do think I'll be back--in the spring or sooner--and hope that most of us will also be back. What times of grief and loss we are going through. And what times of hope for joy and change!

The Goodbye Poem

I want to say I’ll be back
in the spring—or sooner!—
but who knows anything now?
Still, I think I will…

November 30, 2020

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