Monday, April 4, 2016

Day 4 National Poetry Month: My World

My World 

Racing out the door
I bark
again and again
trying to sound bigger
than I am.

My eyes do not see
like they once did.
My ears no longer
hear the danger
that surrounds me.

Moving around
my favorite spaces
to circle the tree,
to smell grass,
I bark louder.

My world is smaller now
than it once was.
I no longer see
the deer taunting me,
the rabbits
wanting to play.

I no longer hear
the birds in the trees
or my family
calling me
to come back in.

So I will bark
long and loud,
to protect
the space that remains
in my world.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Day 3 National Poetry Month 2016: Country Living

Country Living
When I moved
to this country home
I knew I did
just the right thing.

Yes, I miss the power lines,
the ability to skitter
from tree to tree
along city streets.

Yes, I miss my cousins
who nested in the trees
near my old home
and would stop by to visit.

But it was noisy there
in the city,
and the cars
were too frequent.  

When I arrived 
at my country home
I knew this would be
the place I'd live forever.

Yes, I have to watch for the dog 
that races out of the house
from time to time
wanting to play chase.

Yes, I have to watch for the coyote
who saunters through the fields
every now and then
looking for his next meal.  

But, there are no squirrels
that live nearby,
when oak drops her acorns
they are all mine.

Cars are rarely seen 
near my new home,
and the quiet is something
I have learned to love.

Today I found the best treasure:
stuffing for my new nest.
It's fluffy white
like the clouds in the sky.

When I moved
to this country home
I knew I did
just the right thing.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

The Idea
Ha!  Today's poem came walking up to my patio - literally.  

We moved into our country home over twenty years ago.  One of the first things we noticed was that we didn't have any squirrels.  It was strange.  We had trees.  We had food, but we didn't have squirrels.  We had moved to our country home from the city where squirrels were abundant.  They'd race from tree to tree, across power lines, and into the roads a drop of a nut.  

Last year we noticed our first squirrel.  It was a red tailed squirrel who seemed to own our back acreage.  This spring we've noticed a gray squirrel.  Hmmm.  Yesterday morning as I wrote my poem I looked out on the patio to see the gray squirrel grabbing the stuffing from one of our patio chair pillows.  I had been blaming the birds, but it was the thief of a squirrel who was doing it.  

It's National Poetry Month!  I will be joining others across the blogosphere to attempt to write a poem every day during the month of April.  You'll find other great poetry stops in my sidebar.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Day 2 National Poetry Month: The Poet

The Poet

I wonder where she finds the words
that flow from her pen
into her leather bound notebook
where pages once blank
bounce with lilting lines.

She wanders the world
with eyes wide open
searching for something
the rest of us
do not yet see.

Though poems try to escape her
she captures them,
piece by piece,
in tiny details,
in words sculpted with care.

Like the photographer
she sees with different eyes,
holds the image still,
for others to see,
just as she sees it.

Like the musician
she finds a rhythm,
speaks the truth,
in ways
we do not understand.

Like the artist
she captures color,
creates mood;
helping others to know
the beauty overlooked.

I want to walk beside her
as she spends her day
pursuing her poem,
words wandering through her world,
arranging and rearranging themselves.

It must be some kind of magic
as she waves her wand pen,
turning the ordinary
into something
never seen before.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

The Idea
Today's poem was inspired by a collision between a stop by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog and a book I am reading by Mary Oliver.  If you haven't stopped by Amy's blog to see her wanderings and wonderings for April you should go there now.  In Amy's recent post she was shared:

"I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day."  -Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
As I read her lines, I thought about the power of what she was saying.  It seems often a poem isn't just right there waiting to be written, but if we take an idea and wrestle with the words as we wander through the day the words eventually find their way to paper.  I had to smile at the image of Amy and poets around the world doing this very thing.

In A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver reminds us,
"A poem must have a necessary quality of detail - enough to sustain the reader's passage into the imagined world of the poem"  Mary Oliver, p. 93.  
It was the collision of this quote and the way Amy talked about finding her poem across her day that made me wonder about poets.  How do they find the magic in their words?   How do we find the "necessary quality of detail" in our poems?

Thinking About
I've been thinking about the chapters in Oliver's book, The Poetry Handbook, titled "Sound," "More Devices of Sound," and "The Line."  To oversimplify Oliver's advice, when writing poetry (so I'm thinking especially free verse and narrative poetry) we have think about the way words work together.  How do they propel readers forward and slow them down?  How do we make lines dance and create rhythm in our poem?  Consonants, vowels, syllables, and sounds do change the way a poem is read by others.  I've been trying to think about considering her advice to help readers move with ease across parts of the poem, and slow down in other parts of the poem.

It's National Poetry Month!  I will be joining others across the blogosphere to attempt to write a poem every day during the month of April.  You'll find other great poetry stops in my sidebar.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Day 1 National Poetry Month: Each New Day

I don't know
how many sunrises I have seen
pinks, purples, and white-yellows
blending in the morning sky;
the day calling with possibility.

I don't know
how many times I have
looked up at the afternoon sky,
bright blue with clouds dancing,
settling into the rhythm of the day.

I don't know
how many sunsets have painted the earth
the sun resting on the horizon
hues of red, purple, and orange;
as the day begins to close.

I don't know
how many times I've looked up
at the ebony sky at night,
constellations dot the canvas;
as dreams replace reality.

I don't know
how many skies I have seen
in this wonderful lifetime
or how many more will follow
in moments yet to come.

I only know
I am grateful for each.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by The Poem Farm where Amy VanDerwater hosts today's parade of wondrous words.


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