Sunday, October 31, 2021

Ghost Words

Today I put up the last chalkboard poem for the month of October. I've been going outside in my robe or a long sweater over my jammies to write in the mostly dark, but this morning I waited till closer to 7:00 a.m., and I like how there's a rectangle of light in the upper left, almost like a vertical postcard, of morning coming, and a light in the window at the corner/curve house, the house where two big trees came down over the past year or so, and where a widow lives, and now several of the poems tie together in very particular, neighborhood ways.

Because of the dark and the damp, I didn't always see my imperfect erasing. Yesterday, I noticed I was writing an "s" over the ghost of a previous "s." So these tiny poems have been layered over each other. Ghost words.

On Thursday night, I participated in the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award reading! What a (scary) delight! (I always get nervous before poetry readings and plays, no matter how many times I do them!) Jan Beatty hosted the event, and read a poem by Patricia Dobler. This year's winner, Shirley Jones Luke, read her winning poem and others. Denise Duhamel, the judge in my year, introduced me, and I read "Fox Collar," my winning poem, and other mother poems. Then Denise read a set of wonderful poems, including some mother poems. Sarah Williams was our fabulous Zoom stage manager. A lovely event!

I had practiced my poems by reading to my husband and kids, and then sent them off to visit my parents with carry-out dinner. Too nervous to have them all in the Zoom with me, probably especially because of the mother poems, that my mother has already read, so she's OK with them, no worries!! My sister and her husband were able to tune in for part of it while traveling to a family wedding in Wisconsin. Thanks for sobbing, Chrissy! And several loving friends were there, a sweet surprise. Thank you, dears. It has been a joy to share my poems with you all, in the various ways I do, and I am grateful, honored, and awed.

Postcard to the world:
you are beautiful, always,
even in sorrow.

1 comment:

Ponyboy Garfunkel said...

I like your idea of the poetry chalkboard. It takes a bit of nerve to that.

Congratulations on your winning poem.

As for the nervousness, the closest I have come to your far greater experience is reading poems at open mic night. I always got nervous, even though I probably did it thirty or more times. One evening, I read an extended whacky piece to an audience of forty. For me, there is a satisfaction in overcoming my nervousness.