Thursday, April 9, 2015

Poetry for the People: 2 group list poems

On Wednesday morning, April 8, 2015, I led a workshop at the Tompkins County Public Library, called "Poetry for the People."

We wrote a number of collective list poems as well as individual poems.

It is a pleasure to share some of the group's writings with you here.

= = =

The Collective "I" — a random glimpse into who we are and what we are thinking about at a particular moment, in a particular place

I am grateful for my Uni-Ball Signo pen, smooth and ready to roll

I remember seeing a pair of shiny tap shoes on my own two tiny feet

I lose track of time when doing things I love

I used to be taller

I try not to be inhibited when I write, and yet I don't want to share all my intimacies either

I wish I had a green thumb

I wish I were perfect

I have walked in my grandfather's, and Gandhi's, footprints

I wish I could remember baseball statistics

I intend to be bolder from this day on

I used to think I was an outsider

I added a wish to a stupa

I forgot I was supposed to be sad

I breathe in order to find myself

I am in awe of the power of the waterfalls today

I wish I were a butterfly

I am grateful because spring is trying so hard to visit us

I am aware of the lotus heart

I am grateful for the lobby of the hotel Ithaca where I found shelter from the rain this morning

I remember my great-grandma looked so small sitting in the rocking chair, when she handed me a shiny penny

I am processing February

I remember crying out in my sleep

I worry about the fate of Islamic treasures

I love the sound of Formula One racing cars

I wish I could cook; or that I had a cook

I wish it would only rain at night

I am afraid of parking garages

I wish my gardening efforts amounted to more than pulling weeds

I often dream of my father, who passed away two years ago, and wake up happy, until I remember he is gone

I remember wearing red rubber galoshes and using my red plaid umbrella

I talk to animals; they understand

I have never worn lipstick

I am so nearsighted that I mistook a squat red fire hydrant for a small child (waiting for the school bus?)

I enjoy paper dolls

I remember my first kiss

I don't care much for "I" and "I" is getting quite bored with me

= = =

A Happiness Poem — inspired by the writing of Japanese poet Tachibana Akemi (1812-1868)

Happiness is when your dear friend's laughter lingers in your memory

Happiness is a hot cup of tea just when you need it

Happiness is a child kissing you on the cheek after you've read to him for an hour

Happiness is is walking — looking and walking

Happiness is sitting quietly all evening, waiting for the candle to burn itself out

Happiness is discovering that the lilies-of-the-valley survived the winter

Happiness is having a good hair day

Happiness is finding the perfect word

Happiness is the smell of sausage and peppers

Happiness is hearing birdsong every morning

Happiness is silence, deep and unbroken

Happiness is coming home after a challenging day, to the comfort of cats

Happiness is chocolate studded with hazelnuts

Happiness is walking out the front door and discovering the lilacs have bloomed overnight and are filling the air with their purple fragrance

Happiness is going to the mailbox and finding a real letter from your best friend

Happiness is not caring what people think

Happiness is going for a walk in the winter and not once slipping on the ice

Happiness is waking, but then realizing you have two more hours to sleep

Happiness is when the delicate flat sheet of chocolate cake is willing to make itself into a roll

Happiness is climbing into an electrically heated bed on a chilly night

Happiness is wearing a wide-brimmed hat that keeps the rain from dripping into your mouth

Happiness is gathering with a group of writers and, in a short while, knowing them a little bit better

Happiness is knowing that you have finished

Thank you to all the workshop participants!

Barbara Brazill
Barbara Kane Lewis
Carol Miller
Gabrielle Vehar
Helen Spanswick
Louise Vignaux
Mary Beth Tierney
Nancy Osborn
Patti McLary
Zeke Perkins

No comments:

Post a Comment