A Poem for times when you just can’t go there

This week when I sat down to write this blog I just couldn’t bring myself to go there, to talk about the uncertainty in the world, the fragility of life, the changes in relationships, all of it, all the hard stuff I just couldn’t bring myself to go there.  I just needed beauty this week, even if for just a few minutes. Perhaps you too need a few minutes of beauty.

In one of my writing classes this week, we wrote to a poem entitled “How to write a poem” by Ginger Andrews.

This is my own poem that poured out during that writing.


Where you write a poem from? 

Relax, sink deep, connect to your gut, not that place that says damn I didn’t eat lunch again but that part of your gut that has a line to your soul, this is where you write a poem from. 

That place of questioning, not the superficial “is it going to be 80 degrees today?” question but those deep get your shovel out questions because you need to dig up the bones of your truth laying buried six feet deep, this is where you write a poem from. 

The place of your dreams, floating, full of whimsy that place where even you can be Tinker-belle or have access to that perfect crystal ball, this is where you write a poem from. 

Reality, that place where money can get elusive, happiness feels distant, the sink is usually full of dirty dishes and the dog always seems to want something from you just when you have gotten into something good. This is where you write a poem from. 

The back porch, birds singing, the sun bright as it comes over the horizon, warming you so you are comfortable and not cold, perfect cup of coffee, this too is where you write a poem from.

Poem end


Poetry found me through my writing practice two and a half years ago, since that time I have become a reader and a writer of poetry. Sometimes it is just the lyrical nature of words that pulls me into a poem, when I read it. Sometimes it is just the pointedness of the words themselves that takes me to another place and time. I have come to have my favorite poets Maya Stein & Ellen Bass are definitely at the top of the list but what I have found in a world brightened by poetry is this, there is likely a poet in all of us. 

I have written almost a dozen poems now, they started coming more regularly when I gave myself permission to allow them.  I stopped telling myself, “you aren’t a poet”.  It makes me wonder how many other things I could do if I simply stopped telling myself that I wasn’t able to. 

The other day a writing student of mine shared a poem that flowed out of her, it was a beautiful poem written by a beautiful woman.  I have seen poems come forth from other students as well. When we move our critical mind out of the way and allow ourselves, there is no telling what we are capable of. 

As I finish writing this, I ponder song writing, it is something that I have always wanted to try, what makes someone a song writer, perhaps nothing more than what makes someone a poet, just doing it, writing words that can be put to music. 

What would you do if you stopped telling yourself you couldn’t?