Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PO-EMotion -- Joy

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by dutchy_42


In the last patch
of evening-lit sky
above the river,
a single heron
stitches one bank to the other
with steady wingbeats.
Bats zigzag
the seams of the day
to prevent unraveling.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Carol, at Carol's Corner, will join me again this year as often as possible.

Kimberley, at iWrite in Maine, is joining me this month. 
Kay, at A Journey Through the Pages, is joining, too!

Steve, at inside the dog, is sharing his poems 
in the comments at Poetrepository.

Heidi, at my juicy little universe, will join us when she can.

Linda, at TeacherDance, will join as often as she can.
Check the comments at A Year of Reading or Poetrepository for her poems.

Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind) is back this year,
leaving poetry trax in the comments.

Jone, at DeoWriter, is doing a "double L" challenge. 

She and I are cross-poLLinating our challenges whenever possible. 


  1. I know I shouldn't have to explain how this poem fits with joy...but I will! :-) It's one of my very favorite end-of-a-lovely-afternoon-of-fly-fishing memories, so the joy is actually the savoring of the joy, and not so much the joy itself.

    On a separate note, I had a crazy-busy day yesterday and didn't manage to join the conversation about "acceptance," but I did think it was interesting that we all went with the "resignation" kind, and not the "part of a group" kind.

    1. On that separate note, I thought that was interesting, too. What do you make of it, poets? Is it too difficult to write about being part of the group while still keeping one's own voice? It might be fun to try. I know those "part of a group" acceptance things are powerful feelings. I'm sure there must be a poem in there. But being part of a group is oh-so complicated, too, if for no other reason than that there is always someone out there (a reader, perhaps) who is not part of the group. Just some thoughts.

    2. I have a "part of a group" draft, but it turned out sing-songy and rhymey and trite. I actually couldn't access deep emotions through group-acceptance. Non-acceptance, being shut that's a different story for a different day...maybe DEJECTION or DESPAIR! (Oh, great, another couple of happy days coming up!!)

    3. Interesting, Mary Lee. I'm fascinated by this project and am learning so much about me (as a person) and me (as a poet). Some emotions are much easier for me to write about. Acceptance and courage were much more difficult for me than sadness, for instance. Also, I'm learning where my images come from, and which are hard to conjure. Since I rely so heavily on certain kinds of images, I think that is one reason that some emotions are easier than others. When I was a kid, I would stretch myself tall thinking that would help me grow up. Then, I thought it was silly when I got a little older. Now, maybe I was right after all: stretching DOES help you grow. :)

  2. This poem fills ME with joy, Mary Lee. The metaphor of sewing is superb, those two worlds placed near each other. What holds them together? Your poem helps me understand the answer(s) to that question.

    Thank you!

    Here’s a prose poem (do you even believe in them?). I’m just a novice poet learning the trade, but I latched onto the poet Louis Jenkins a few years back and because fascinated with his work. What I found was that prose poems come from a very different poetry part of me. Where most of my ideas come from an image that I explore. Prose poems, for me, come from a more general idea that I then explore by layering images, alternating the general with the very specific. The idea for this was that joy overflows, it cannot be contained. And the rest came as a series of riffs on that idea.

    A Box too Small

    There was a cartoon I remember when I was a kid, where this guy opened up his closet to look for something inconsequential, a shoe for instance, and then kept pulling out stuff -- a lamp, a sofa, two tires, a roast turkey with all the trimmings, a circus elephant, a hockey goal, way more than could possibly fit in that tiny closet. Some spaces are too small to contain what they hold. Like the other day, from high above in the ash tree, a meadowlark ripped a song so full of vigor and delight that there’s no way a single breath in that small body could have held such joyous enthusiasm. Too small that breath, for sure, but there he was anyway just letting it fly, like Jack had finally leaped all the way out of his box and now he had to tell the world of his escape.

    1. I believe in prose poems, especially after this! Thank you for a ripped riff of meadowlark song on a rainy urban Wednesday. You have given me a moment of joy.

    2. I love the juxtaposition of the too-full closet from the cartoon with the too-full voice of the meadowlark. I've enjoyed reading prose poetry, but haven't tried to write it myself.

  3. I love this. Reading about the closet wondering where this is going and all of a sudden, it goes in a whole different and surprising direction. And such a great image, that meadowlark!

  4. Sewing is just spot on. I see it and I love it and I want to be there. I think I can almost hear the stitches... Thank you for taking me outside. xo