Sometimes we start poetry with a history of strains and tight muscles. For many of us, this month’s May Play felt like therapy, a chance to purge ourselves of some lactic acid and develop more elasticity. Instead of stretching our rhomboids and trapezius muscles, we began by stretching our confidence.
And our ability to have fun.
Even Nancy Davis Rosback commented on the therapy taking place at Tweetspeak last week. She wrote,
“You are helping to make this a place where people can feel accepted and loved, which opens the door to creativity, growth and healing. It is so fun to see the way each person writes their own unique piece that no one else could write. And i feel totally encouraged by the really nice comments, thanks.”
As we play with words, we increase our capacity to take risks with language. We discover new places of creativity and growth, once we give ourselves permission to stretch with words. This week we played with found poems, stretching out words taken from “Breaking it Off: Letter from Anne Sexton” by Maureen Doallas. Whenever we had a few minutes, we reached for a word and then stretched it into a new poem. We played on Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.
Here’s a peek at some of your exercise from last week.
Rosanne Osborne begins by stretching out an “empty nightgown” and finds it full of revelation.
Sleeping with Promises
The empty nightgown
hanging on the door.
its bodiless shape
the vacuity of hope
that resurrection is more than myth.
The sleeveless wonder
of remembered arms, fingers
frozen in a single
Whole visions emerge
from thinning fabric
patterns of provocation
Wisps of delight and destruction
hidden in shapeless folds
soft, cool to the touch
utterly empty…yet full.
@LaneArnold does her stretching with “roses”.
The summer damask rose
old cut glass
beside her bed.
She thought of
that other day,
fifty-two summers ago,
knelt on one knee,
what he already
knew the answer to:
The yes of
Whimsy and joy,
wafting among quotidian
flushing the face
of craggy young Rockies.
dancing to dawn’s delight,
on the ice-fringed
Natalie Salminen makes a decision to stretch open her “eyes” and finally visits the damp basement she’s been avoiding for years.
Mint, grey. Peach and the hot chili of pink.
Hmmmm….what to paint the basement.
For years I evaded the dark,
the damp, the buried underneath.
But now I tread easy towards the shadows,
even inviting them to tea,
bitter herbs and raw honey.
You won’t know until you face them,
looking into their dark eyes,
now fit for a fearless queen.
The paint chip says “Choices,”
the dreamy color of courage.
Brush dipped and
painting the shadows with Light.
When we stretch words, we can end up anywhere. We might hang from a door, sit beside mountains, or even paint the basement, finally. Regardless of where we find ourselves, we’ll discover an opportunity to stretch our voice. That’s the beauty of poetry and play.
This week is the final stretch of May Play, but it’s not too late to purge your lactic acid and play along!
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.
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 Weekly 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!
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.