jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In Between the Suds

The prompt at One Deep Breath this week is process. I have never given much thought to my own writing process. In fact, I have never been much of a process person at all. I have an aversion to process, procedure, routine. I have always blamed this, if blame is the right word, on my mother’s beautiful attention to order, cleanliness, routine. She was Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart was Martha Stewart. She was the consummate June Cleaver. She made a wonderful home for me, her only child, and that, until she went back to work in the world, was her only job. I was a rebel: messy, late, very unpredictable.

This is why, when I had children, I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. I had visions of bundt pans, fresh squeezed orange juice and every toy in its place. Because my mom was so good at being a mom, I wanted to give my kids the happy, orderly, predictable life my mother gave me.

Read the fairytale.
Try on the slippers. Buy the gown.
Wait for instructions.

Best laid plans, you know… Of course, having the cluttered soul of an artist, I am not organized. I am not in the least routinely inclined. I will drop the house-cleaning in a minute to take a walk in the woods and look for birds or bugs. I try. But I am no June Cleaver. This has always been my “cross to bear” with writing, too. No discipline. But I love words, and for whatever the reason, I have a knack for putting them in the right order. As for the dishes, the clothes, the toys…

In search of answers,
bird song, fox track, snow flake path.
Only pencil knows.

The poem can’t speak.
Birds, trees, feelings are nameless.
Poet is not home.

Ice creeps down windshield.
How to say cracks look like map?
That is the process.

And so, I have had to accept the fact that I can’t always make time for my writing. Not now. But, I can make my writing during the time I have. I can write between the suds, so to speak, between the dust bunnies, between the bus and the grocery store, between the lines on the road where my Pathfinder hopefully is as I write and drive and change the satellite radio to XM Kids. This is my process.

Interestingly, at least I think it’s interesting, I wrote the above haiku last night, after the kids went to bed. The rest were written this morning under 1 ½ year-old’s-feet.

For your reading pleasure, please avert your eyes from the unmade beds, the vacuum in the middle of the living room, the art projects waiting to be hung, and enjoy these haiku!

Between wet dishes,
in suds on plastic Tonka plate,
the poem smiles.

Not in coffee shop,
not in quiet of sunrise.
Words among the toys.

Chirp of plastic phone.
Pleasant drone of cartoon bear.
Here poem sings.


Anonymous amy said...


You know the Irish goddess-turned-saint Brigid is associated with "poetic eloquence" as well as hearth and home (according to Answers.com). No sense trying to separate them.

11:33 AM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

I will have to look her up! That's kind of ironic, because when I was single and a guy I wasn't interested in asked my name, I would always say, "Bridget."

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely post and series of haiku. I particularly like the first one and the fourth.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Read the fairytale.
Try on the slippers. Buy the gown.
Wait for instructions.

Love this one!

Yes, I also love Bride (Brigid), Goddess of Poetry, Healing and Smithcraft. In a way, don't we all have many paths we try to walk at once and while keeping some sort of balance? (Or, for me, getting pretty good at finding balance, again and again...) Life's process, IMHO, is nothing if not inherently messy. LOL!

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the poem smiles" made me smile, because that's exactly what happens when the poem breaks through: it smiles. You do have a knack for words.

On a different note, betcha my house is a bigger mess than yours. My mom is uber-organized, too. Maybe there's a reason these things skip generations. ;) And the name I used to use was Olga.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Remiman said...

I love the way your conversation flows and the poetry just seems to be a natural part of the conversation.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this!
"Words among the toys" is an especially appealing line...

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice haikus - what a perfect poetic form to fit into the busyness of life.

My mom was NOT a domestic goddess, and the apple didn't fall far . . .

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smiled all the way through this. How fun and what a great process. I am a clutterbug.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous hundred and one said...

LOL! I really enjoyed reading this and my mum sounds just like yours. The only difference is, I am very much like her. :-)

Thanks for sharing

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

Your poems are great, and I think your children will remember the walks and games much more than whether or not the house shined.

Your writing seems to be just fine, too!

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love "words among the toys" and "wait for instructions" . That is my process too.

6:00 AM  

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