It was at the AROHO retreat when words began to jam the inside of my head, seeking the way out, like never before. I wrote my first poem while I was in a workshop with Jillian Lauren , who taught “Writing on the Edge.” Two days later I had two more poems. I thought in verse without knowing or trying.
Maybe it was the gorgeous landscape around me, coupled with the synergy of wise wonderful women (bien Chingonas) attending the retreat, or maybe it was the spirit of Ghost Ranch and the motto of New Mexico: “The Land of Enchantment.”
Since returning from New Mexico, five weeks ago, six more poems have leaked out of me. The one below came to me in the middle of the night, a few days after I returned from AROHO. My critique group, Women Who Write, helped me form the poem into something a little more coherent.
The original name of the poem was Braids, but today, in honor of National Poetry Day and NPMonth, I retitled it to post on a blog I happened to stumble upon, Poetic Bloomings. The task was to write a poem about composing a poem. The prize is a book of poetry (and you know I love free books).
to reach across
expanse of experiences
Pull together strands
of pain, joy
bit by bit, strand by strand
tighter, stronger, thicker
hand over hand
ropes of strength
On my walk yesterday, I came upon a Sycamore, usually the only trees in the whole neighbor and my coastal city, which give evidence that autumn has arrived. Among the palm trees and drought resistant plants, the Sycamores stand out in their demise, brilliantly. A red leaf dropped in front of me and ‘walked’ like a starfish across my path.
Starfish on Asphalt
From the depths of an ocean
coastal winds blew you near
a starfish on asphalt
for me to see.
moving towards others,
huddling in the cold,
dying in color.
A fish out of water
3 thoughts on “Braiding Words into Poems”
Oh, Mona, how beautiful you write your poetry. Thank you.
Amada, many thanks. I feel like poetry is writing me.
I love the idea of braiding words together. And that picture of the leaf really did look like a starfish!