Find Your Way with Poetry – Kinda Needed at This Time
By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, assisted by Martha Sessums, ACE President, who hasn’t yet given up on keeping her keyboard clean from pawprints
Arf, arf. We’re still doing shelter-at-home and now every day seems a lot like the last one. Sounds like a dark poem topic to me.
From Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven . . .
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on
Shall be lifted–nevermore
. . . to Billie Eilish’s everything I wanted . . .
Coulda been a nightmare
But it felt like they were right there
And it feels like yesterday was a year ago
But I don’t wanna let anybody know
‘Cause everybody wants something from me now
And I don’t wanna let ’em down
. . . it’s a good time to write what we’re all feeling.
Joy Harjo is the U.S. Poet Laureate & Academy of American Poets Chancellor. She’s a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation and she says her poetry comes from her feelings. In her words, “Without poetry, we lose our way.”
Check out her poem Remember. It’s about family and each person’s place in the world. She wrote it by first looking up at the sky and looking for stories in the stars and the moon that were connected to her.
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
I look at the moon too, but usually I howl at her. Cause that’s what my family does. I’m a dog. That’s god spelled backward, by the way.
With all that’s going on and all the new rules out there (wash your hands, wear a mask, social distance of six feet required with everybody, school time on a computer now) there’s a lot going on in our heads. This time is hard, and poetry is made for us to express ourselves in hard times like these. The sun is shining (well, sometimes) and I want to play in the park and run all over the grass and sniff the trees, but I can’t. John gives me plenty of walks, but all on a leash. New rules. New times. Time for new poetry about what you’re feeling to help keep you on track.
Here’s my doggerel about not losing my way and staying true.
The treat comes
on little Lucy feet.
She sits looking
at me small hand outstretched
giving silent loving pets
and then, moves on.
Hope your poems are coming along for the ACE Poetry Contest. Remember, winners win chedder, plus they are posted here – in the ACE Spectrum blog – for everyone to read and enjoy.
Arf. Stay well. Arf. Stay diligent. Arf, don’t lose your way. And, arf, treat yourself to a poem.
*Apologies to Carl Sandburg, but Martha says I was inspired by his poem Fog.