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.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sniff..last PoeTry ThuRsdAy post...

It is with great trepidation that I post this last poem for PoeTry ThurSday. PT has gotten me up off my *&% so many times and moved me to write a poem when otherwise I would have probably wallowed in I-don't-have-time-town not writing(warning! poets, do not visit this unsavory tourist trap!). And what a great group of writers, even friends, I have encountered! Thanks PT! I am hoping to take some time to link to the poets who regularly read my irregular blog (as in no schedule, no potty reference intended! can you tell I spend my time with kids?).

On to the poem. I wrote this some months ago, just found it under a pile of papers and books. It is still relevant to me today, and, in fact, could link to the whiny lines of my last post. Here's me, still trying to get spiritual...

Reading a Few Thoughts on Faith, I Put Down the Book, Pick up the Pencil

"...But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer." - Henri Matisse

Here is what I need
to get more spiritual.
I need to get right down
in my hat and pull out
a rabbit. Ignite a fire
somewhere in the nether regions.
Yoga, chakra, centering, God.
Yes. We all know it's in the details.
How many other names does God have?
My son, worshipper of dirt and speed,
poses the question as we bow our heads
in time to Bob Marley
on the way to the non-denominational
church we rarely nominate
in our nuclear democracy of a Sunday morning.
We wind up not in pews, not in organized
chairs, but at a trail head
open mouth of fur and pine
drawing the family in past needle
and cone teeth to its ferny belly.
We have entered the church of tree huggers.
I cross my fingers, bless the narrow log
we balance on to cross over into
the sunny side of the trail.
In heaven all rivers will run wide
but not deep.
Buddha will not be there,
belly bobbing above the current.
Allah will not arrive late
with seven virgins in tow.
Spirit is a boat you can not sail
without someone's wind bearing down on you.
Which weatherman shall we call for the forecast?

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

rocking is good. so is sitting in the surf. try it.

My son never slows down. Here, he may be in a hammock, but he is not relaxing. He is pumping, swinging, rocking, swaying. Perpetual motion, even at rest.

My daughter likes nothing better than plopping down where she is and playing in the sand. Water be damned. Muck be damned. Sun, sand, water. Sit & enjoy. She plays it where it lays. And her favorite color is orange. She is an individual.

I could take some advice from these diminutive muses. Play it where it lays. Write the poem in the sand. Write it on the peanut butter and fluff sandwich. Utter and fluff it. Get wet. Get sand in my pants. Take off my pants and write a poem on my thighs. OK. My kids definitely didn't give me that idea. Although, one did write all over the other's stomach in purple marker one day. Hey. Why not write a poem on my arm and let it all hang out.

Still feeling anxious about not writing. I'm not blocked. I have ideas. They flow in and out, flow in like the tide, and I summarily dismiss them like so much flotsam. Out seaweed. Out cracked shell.

A poet friend of mine said it is the change of seasons. I remember that this happens every few months, every turn of the seasons. I forget until I remember. This time around, my head feelsl like it might explode. I have not only got poetry running rampant in my head, with no outlet, now I've got art projects screaming and shrieking.

I have discovered art trading cards, and while I love, absolutley love the idea, the freedom of expression, I am having so many strange feelings. Art card lust. I look at the fine, fine work of others and I want it to be mine. I used to have this feeling about poetry, until I became confident with my work. I think constantly about potential art card ideas. When I finally made one, I felt release. Sweet release. But, now it is not enough. I need to make more. But, mine may not be good enough. They need to be better.

Augh. I need to read the Artist's Way again. Maybe? Maybe I just need to see the first leaves fall, feel the air change from humid to crisp. I need to eat an apple. Need to indulge my Eve. Eat an apple, see myself naked, revealed. Revel in my wet, orange uniqueness. Hmmm....


Sunday, August 26, 2007

All tied up

Welcome to my blog. Let me introduce myself. I am skull-dried-in-sun-tied-with-a-net, formerly jillypoet-mom-trying-to-write. Have you ever tried to write while on vacation with two children under 6 years of age? At one point, I was in the company of four children 6-years and under. And at all times I had either my husband or my father, or two husbands (one mine, one someone else's...now there's a writing prompt), so in essence, I was surrounded by idea-sapping vacationing children. Children of all ages. Fodder for writing for sure, but not, at least, for this mom, the ideal writing situation.
OK. Is there an ideal writing situation? Virginia Woolf said women needed a room of their own in which to write. At the time, in my free-wheeling, flip-flopping 20s, I whole-heartedly agreed, but just because it was the feminist thing to do. Now, in my flip-flopping (still with the flip-flops), child-rearing 30s, I want to wrestle the stones from Virginia's pockets, drag her from the surf and hug her for this so accurate assertion. A room of one's own. And not a room with laundry waiting to be put away, or a two-year-old sleeping in your bed, or a five-year-old waiting for you to lie down with him. I love my children. But, I need a room of my own.
Summer is just about over. It is making my heart hurt. Today I thought about sending my son off to first grade and I worried that he might not know anyone. And my heart hurt. Yes. Hurt. I know, I know, use the pain, write a poem.
Can someone tell me when? When will the voices in my livingroom and my kitchen and my bathroom and my SUV STOP? OK. I will just wait for the space to breathe.
Maybe it is not my children (whom I really really love!), but my bad, too-short haircut that is sapping my muse. My pal Polkadot Witch just got a shorter hair cut and a new color and she feels empowered. Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong.
OK. I will rest with that thought. I'm looking at it all wrong. I'll sleep on it. In my messy bedroom. Unpacked suitcase, unpacked laundry, short hair and all.
I'll get back to you. With a poem. Promise. (I still have my assignments from the previous post!)

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On BRIEF hiatus (on Hyannis!)

So, I will be on vacation for the next few days. I will be, as Dana @ Sublimation (don't know how to make it so you can click on it, sorry. but she is in my sidebar) suggested, taking one day to write down everything I do. And another day I will be writing a poem on a stick and tossing it into the ocean. Or maybe a rock. Or maybe a crab. Yes. A poem on a dead crab. And did you know, by the by, that fishers of crabs use chicken necks to catch crabs? My young art students told me that today. Yes. Chicken necks. "Do you have them in your house?" I asked them. "Do you kill the chickens yourself?" No no no, silly Miss Jill. We buy them at a bait store. Now, where I come from, all you get at the bait store is worms. Or maybe Swedish fish and Archie comic books.

Anyway, if anyone reads this, and if it happens to be before I leave Friday night, please, heed the sign posted above and...ASK ME FOR A POEM. I am taking requests. Give me a subject. Give me a line. I will take it with me and write a poem a day based on your prompts. And you can have the results for just $9.99. In three easy installments. Easy.

Now to pack!

Remember, keep those poetry requests coming!
Posted by Picasa

Year of the Goldfinch

Some notes, gold and gleaming, on a poem I must write about the goldfinch. Pretty sure the universe is sending me very clear gold and black winged messages about goldfinches.

  • Every year I have a bird. Previously it was cedar waxwings everywhere I looked. For two or three years it was cardinals all year long. This year it has been the goldfinch.

  • Aside from the oriole, truly the most breathtaking northeast bird.

  • The bird I most want to see is the goldfinch, and this year it is. Flying in front of the car, coming to our feeder, at Fort Ticonderoga in the bushes, Cape Cod, on nature walks wherever we go.

  • Today I was sitting on the couch bemoaning the fact (in my mind...no room to bemoan while the kids are wrestling all over the floor...who would listen?) that I had nothing to write about and what do writers write about anyway and where do otherpoets, especially moms, get their ideas, or for that matter, the time, to write? Mental whine, whine, whine, when all of a sudden I turned my head to the huge(finger printed) picture window and there is a goldfinch, right on the feeder. Hello, he seemed to be saying. Inspiration right here!

  • Still feeling sorry for myself, dragging my feet getting the kids ready for the pool (augh!), I went to get a drink and there at the sink is a small little goldfinch statue. My husband's 94-year-old grandmother is giving things away and he brought this home, along with a glass collage of many birds. However, and I'm sure this is important, I was too mad at him that particular Saturday to even look at the treasures he brought me. So, today, 5 days later, I, a fairly observant girl, finally notice the goldfinch figurine. I have stood at that sink 20 times or more since Saturday.

  • What is the goldfinch trying to tell me?

  • Speaking as the goldfinch, if I may, "Dude. Lighten up. Eat some birdfood. Fly. Fly a little more. Lay some eggs in a nest. Chirp a little. Wear your feathers sunshine yellow. Show up when you're least expected. Implore a nice person with your eyes to please, please, keep the feeder filled. Pay a sad soul a surprise visit.

  • Lessons learned from a bird.

  • Why this year the goldfinch?

  • Study goldfinches.

  • Find out latin name.

  • Take some pictures!

  • Write the poem!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The deer ate all my tomato flowers

Recipe Daily - To Be Read to the Rythm of Knife on Seasoned Cutting Board

"Be adventurous in your selection...choose colors and varieties that are
unfamiliar to you. You will enjoy immense pleasures in the exploration
- Gary Ibsen & Dagma Lacey of Organic Heirloom Tomato Seeds
Begin cutting your tomato into small chards.
Marianna's Peace,
Julia Child,
Sunset's Red Horizon
Inhale your tomato with great force.
Big Boy,
Bigger Boy,
Biggest Boy
Step out into the wide, wide world
out the front door,
past the lighted doorbell.
Write a poem on a chunk of wood.
Plan to pray a little.
Respect your fear of fire
and all manner of things hot.
C'est tres chaud, n'est pas?
Ask a neighbor to set your words alight.
Blaze into tomorrow,
into your flourescent-bulb kitchen
with spirit,
with knife,
with tastebuds renewed,
tiny black seeds burning holes
on your tongue.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

Well, it wouldn't be my blog if there wasn't a poem about my son. And since it's almost Thursday, I am posting a poem for PoeTrY ThuRSdaY! I am having some trouble getting the words to flow, I have quite a few poems started but can't seem to get to the heart of them. I'm trying to find an online poetry class that doesn't cost a fortune. Anyone know of any? It seems foolhardy to spend money on an online course when I spent six years and way too much money on a Master's Degree in English, but I feel like I need the motivation.

Ah well. Here's the poem. Comments/critique welcome!

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

Out of the ashes of five, my son blazes
into his sixth year,
shrugging off the black
rubber fireman’s coat of kindergarten,
sliding easily into the asbestos mask
of first-grade pyromaniac.

Saving cats in trees
still heightens his senses,
but what if you rub two sticks together
at the base of the tree?
What if the roots ignited?
What if fire crawled up the belly of the tree,
licked the cat’s paws?
Who would save the son-of-a-tiger then?

Jagged sticks and branches
that used to be guns
take on new dimensions.
Rumor has it, rubbed hard and fast,
these pretend guns, these wooden fakes
spark blue blazes, the hottest fire, fast and furious.
Burn. Burn. Burn.
Danger. Danger. Danger.

In a white-hot flash, lightning scorches bad guys,
Death Star, Clone Troopers and both world wars.
God’s angry growl, electricity punching the air
assumes its rightful place as ultimate weapon.
What if lightning burns our house down?
What if the firemen need to come?
What if it’s a three-alarm fire?
What if the whole world burns up?

He has crawled out of his cave,
my son the first grader.
He has risen up on two legs,
smashed his sticks together,
and left the fire to burn
until he figures out
just what to do with it.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Return from Neverland

Well, it's been a long time since I posted to my blog. I'm so out of the loop I can hardly remember how to blog. Blogger amnesia.

Night arrives on cue,
bathtime, bedtime, books, sweet dreams.
Where did the sun go?

The serenity I wake every day hoping to find through writing has eluded me. I've hardly written a poem since April, National Poetry Month. I've filled another six-shelf bookcase with poetry, memoir, nature books. Even used book stores have lost their appeal. But I persevere. I think poetry. Occassionally, I dream poetry.

Words come after dark,
guests with no RSVP.
You are all welcome.

I turned to One Deep Breath for a haiku prompt that might inspire me. Once, twice. Third time's a charm. Thank you haiku genies!

Late day thunderstorm
sun loses to rain.
Nightfall is cheated.

Pitching tent in rain,
clouds mask arrival of night.
Not sure when to sleep.

Finally, cicadas.
I've been waiting for your call.
Your answer, my sleep.

Cicadas vibrate.
Invisible bugs moan, hum.
Night song of first love.

Thanks for reading! Is anybody out there? OK. Haiku is done. Readers despising mommy-talk, please stop here!

Now I'm starting to remember the thrill of blathering on with no guarantee that anyone is listening. And, I am remembering the theraputic effect (affect? still can't get them straight, MA in English be darned) that writing has. It was the loss of my dear writing pal Polka Dot Witch that halted my writing. A little. Not lost, as in dead (phew!), just lost, as in no longer blogging. She introduced me to blogging.

Today, I think, it was a chance meeting with a mom-writer at the pool, the stomping ground of stay-at-home hair & nail types, that spurred me on to get writing! (And is it really chance? Chance or the universe or God nudging me, just as my two-year-old pushing her baby doll in a giant stroller almost nudged the other writer-mom's two-year-old who also demands to "push it Mommy!" Oh, sorry. Run-on. I'm just so thrilled to be blogging again.