Bee still my heart.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun, I’m so bowled over with gratitude to you dear readers who cheered and cajoled, who read and donated to the 30/30 Tupelo Press Poetry Project this month while I turned poetic cartwheels all over the form manual based on an idea hatched about trying to harness the nature of words by grappling with poetic structure. (You can reread that post, “Five Lines to Challenge Chaos ” here.)
Art happens when we’re attentive. I photographed this heart-shaped bee swarm on vacation in June at Kalapaki Beach, Kauai and weeks later the image worked its way into my poem, “Self Preservation Techniques the Body Knows By Heart.” (You can read it on the 30/30 Project, Day 10, here.)
Creativity blends the actual with the possible, the real with the dream, all under the wings of infinite tinkering, discipline, and technique.
If you’re the type of reader / writer who likes to experiment, I’ve made it easy for you to begin your own monthlong poetry writing adventure by cataloging the forms I played with this month. You can find all the poems on the 30/30 Project website.
Incantation (Day 1)
Persona poems (Days 10, 12, 13, 15)
Cut-up (Day 4)
List poem (Day 6)
Concrete poetry (Day 8)
No Word poetry (Day11)
Epistolary form (Days 13 and 19)
Sonnet (Day 15)
An experiment with poetic duende (Day 19)
Cento (Days 16 and 30)
Found lines (Day 20)
Cinquain (Day 21)
Reverse poem (Day 26)
Tanka (Day 28)
Litany (Day 29)
All the other poems are lyrical free verse, including today’s, “Reseeding With Grace,” below.
Three barefoot women alone on Glass Beach wade ankle deep into black ocean
brown paper bags bulge with marbles god it’s cold! in dead of midnight.
Grace insists on ceremony.
Glinting arcs rise by fistful
cat’s eyes, corkscrews, clearies, aggies, onyx, swirlies sail through dark;
three women in silver grace tones harmonize like McGuire Sisters
Somethin’s gotta give, somethin’s gotta give,
A plop between waves and plip! The arthritic arm has no heat.
Full moon a cliché as silver curls from hand to sea
glassy marbles opaque as eyes turning —
returning here where marble find was proof enough of lucky day
promoted to windowsill status at homes dressed with curtains now
fading and thin as pink daisy aprons hidden behind the pantry door.
God I’m cold! Grace shivers
receding, holds up blue pearl to her eye against moon
whispers under breath
for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrows ‘s granddaughter
plip! last marble sinks into moon glowing foam.
Waves lap feet submerged in bone cold sand, sinking further and further.
Grace flings up hands to stars,
We lost our marbles!
Three silver women in moonlight clasp each other up against the tide
shimmy shudder silent laughter drowns out the cold,
slowly sinking treasure just now out of reach.
Back story? A few years ago I spent several months near Glass Beach, WA, a treasure trove of marbles, sea glass and pottery shards. I met some women there who talked about how, at a certain age, they’d reseed the beach with their collected marbles – the most prized find – for the next generation. I often wonder if they ever did. Based on the women’s personalities, I imagine it might have gone down something like this.
If you’d like to make a small contribution on my behalf to the 30/30 Project, there are still a few more days in July. In the meantime, I’ll keep turning cartwheels while wonderful readers like you help poetry grow and thrive, and small literary presses stay in business.
Hold onto your marbles as long as you need them,
but when it’s time to let go, here’s hoping you find all the grace you need.
With joy and gratitude,