Leah wasn’t quite ready to play. Sharing her poetry felt like a risk.
A few months ago she discovered Every Day Poems and began clicking around. She spent $2.99 on our poetry daily subscription. She found intriguing writing prompts and colorful features. Most importantly, she encountered conversations.
In fact, I met Leah (@Barebrancheshvn) through a back-and-forth exchange while Tweetspeak was hosting a book club on Rumors of Waters by L.L. Barkat. She also shared a few words with me about her re-entry into poetry.
@Barebrancheshvn: “i wrote a poem this week in response to the photo of a modern “Little Red” – my favorite yet, total departure 4 me”
@matthewkreider: “Fantastic! I’m so happy to hear that! Have you shared it anywhere? Yet? ”
@Barebrancheshvn: “only with family! Not ready to share yet. First time ever, I wrote something in 30min. Only minor revisions since”
Most of us can relate to Leah’s hesitancy about wading into those deeper waters of visibility. We all have times when sharing our play with others feels as awkward as wearing a new bathing suit. But as we engage in a community of conversation, we find the strength to take another step.
Once we begin splashing around, like Leah, we just might find ourselves calling out words of encouragement to others.
@Barebrancheshvn: “Congrats @pathoftreasure for your @tspoetry #mayplay post! Put my timid toe in the water for the 1st time w/ a “public” poem, terrifying!”
@pathoftreasure: “Yay! I know, it’s risky!! Once you’ve dipped the toe in the water, it’s easier to dive right in… Awesome #mayplay!”
Tweetspeak Poetry’s May Play
We decided to play together at Tweetspeak Poetry this month. We call it May Play. This week we wrote found poems using words taken from “On Inspiration”, a found poem by Kimberlee Conway Ireton. Whenever we had a few minutes, we sat to play and and uncover a poem. We played on Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.
This past week, several writers joined the May Play conversation for the first time. Connie Cornwell Chipman wrote,
No longer able to bear
the sound of Red Hot Chili
Peppers, she saunters over
With rose petal lips and
hands on hips,
she sugar snaps off on the guy
until he turns the music down.
And leximagines wrote,
worn wooden planks
the creamy coral orb
came to rest at my feet
Barely kissing my toes
cajoling me to pick it up
raising it to my lips
One should never allow
such cheek to go unanswered
Lorraine, who joined us for the first time last week, stopped by for another visit.
Mint Juleps anyone…
Taking shelter from the red hot Kentucky sun
she rests on worn wooden planks
beneath the willow tree…
stirring the chiffonade of mint
into the sugar rimmed, frosted glass…
and she sips…
and she waits…
to see the black steed
race his way to the finish line;
and she hopes…
he might take his princely ride
through the field of clover,
draped in his blanket of roses
and his cobalt ribbon prize…
and she sips…
while she waits.
nancy davis rosback also returned for a visit.
if i had a speckled hen
i would gather eggs into a basket
tightly woven and strong
if i wanted tea
i would put a kettle of water on heat
the warmth to pour over withered leaves
giving back what was taken
if my mother were alive
i would make her eggs and tea
we would sit at the table
Others shared their May Play on Twitter.
@monicasharman: I sit atop handmade inspiration/ to pin it down/ but it escapes like slippery/ soap even before I can catch/ the scent of lavender
@bristowmom1: Sigh for today: What Hand will invite you/into what green dance, across what white-blooming field?
Creative play leads to great conversations, so keep playing with those words — and encourage each other along the way.
Here’s how May Play works …
If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to Every Day Poems.
1. On Mondays, the Every Day Poem in your inbox becomes Play-Doh. Pinch off a word. Or more. Mix in your words and colors. Until yours.
2. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #mayplay hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
3. Or leave your found poem here in the comment box for each week’s May Play post.
We’ll read your tweets and share some of your weekly play each week. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and ask the playful poet to record his or her poem to be featured in one of our upcoming Top 10 Poetic Picks.
Here’s today’s Every Day Poem. Now go play.
BONUS: Winner Takes the Chocolate
If you have a short story about why you love Every Day Poems, leave it in the comment box here or post it to your blog and leave us the link. We’ve already received some great mentions! Check out Leah’s reflection — as well as her poem “Little Red”.
We’ll pick one of these stories and send the winner a box of gourmet chocolates.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $2.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In May we’re exploring the theme Roses.