On a blog named “Letters from Heart’s Content”, surely the reader expects to read something new from time to time. Fresh out of the oven, slathered with butter, here it is.
Gotham Writers Workshop offers some dynamite writing courses online. My dream is to take a class in poetry next winter. But fearful that I won’t be able to write on a timetable, I am building writer’s muscle by daily practice, learning the craft and discovering the questions. I watched my friends Katy Noelle and Obe Lisai commit to a photograph a day and develop into productive artists with unique style. With their example, I aim to do the same.
Poetry appeals to me for its economy of words. The waste is chiseled away until the statue stands free. It allows me to play with words, to make them rattle like a train on a track or weave like dancers at a Greek wedding.
This month I ordered, from a local Indie Bookstore of course, The Daily Poet; Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice, by Kelli Russell Agodon & Martha Silano. They prepared a prompt for every day of the year. Since I can’t truly write every morning, I choose something intriguing from the most recent couple of days. I never read ahead.
The poem below was inspired by the prompt for January 27 entitled “Journalistic Inspiration”. It tells me,
“Find an interesting newspaper article and circle all of the words that interest you. Write a poem about a topic that has nothing to do with the article….”
The article I found in The Vermont Journal was about tax incentives available for alternative energy and I ended up using only three words from it: possibility, energy, and fossil [fuels]. I finished up today. I give you:
Tilling the Tell
So much energy it takes to keep
the fossils buried in the heart’s barren acres.
They rise, clattering; I shove them down,
drown them out with sound, or try to sort
them in my fumbling inexperience, surmising
an evolution trail from these remains
to the cringing creature looking through my eyes.
O Lord, arrange a dig in the ancient land
and gently handle every broken bone;
fit them together and name them “Always Mine”,
and lay them to rest forever in a Christian burial,
that they might rise no more to haunt me.
And from the loosened soil grow fruitful vines,
green with sap and tender leaf, that swell
to fragrant blossoms, wet with dew; a dew
that catches light before it drops to drench
the ground alive with fertile possibility.
Ruth E Holleran
January 29, 2017