Thursday, February 21, 2019

How do you do it??

Writing is a delicious agony.
~Gwendolyn Brooks

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been participating in the February peace poem postcard project (sending out 28 peace poems). I don't know how those of you who do a finished poem a day (for a month or even a YEAR!!) have managed it. So impressed! It makes me more comfortable to let ideas gestate, let drafts sit, etc. and there's no time for that. Also, I can't seem to control what I write about. The following isn't a peace poem so I am not sending it to anyone:

photo by Fisherga

Milkweed in winter
Seeds scattered
Empty cradles swing


And here's one that counted as a "peace poem" but might make you wonder whether I have a good understanding of what that means:

The Peace of Angry Rivers
by Tabatha Yeatts

Angry rivers tumble over themselves,
  reveal their bubbling underbellies

They froth at the mouth, hold nothing back,
  smash rocks as though they were the hard ones.

Their water, riled and surging with mud,
  promises there's nothing to be afraid of now:

The rampage is here, you are it,
  and you are riding it, and you can.

The fierce ride will subside after
  all the waters are somewhere new

where they will still run, still reflect
  the sun, still carry a world of life within.


That poem was inspired by my daughter Ariana, who had to use an EpiPen for the first time this month, something she had been dreading.

(Now that I re-read the milkweed poem, I'm wondering if it is similar to someone else's?)

Life on the Deckle Edge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Robyn!


Irene Latham said...

The Peace of Angry Rivers is a brilliant title! I love how unexpected it is.. I think I'd be dreading the epipen, too, but I have heard it does become bearable with time and practice. Thanks for the empty cradles, too, which I'm reading as a grief poem this morning. Thank you for sharing! xo

Tabatha said...

Yes, she did find it bearable. What led up to it and the hospital visit afterward were worse than the Epi. Realizing that she could do it successfully was actually empowering.

jama said...

I similarly thought the milkweed poem was about grief. And I like the water/rivers metaphor for a turbulent time with its hope and reassurance. Hugs to Ariana!

Linda B said...

And I thought about those empty pods as grief, but seeds scattered is goodness left, a lovely thought. The river raging feels reflective, makes me wonder how many poems are being written in this turbulent time? Sorry for the need for an epi pen. I've had to use one several times with students through the years. While scary, I also count them as blessings. Thanks, Tabatha.

jan godown annino said...

Hi Tabatha, Many empowering thoughts for your daughter & her Mom. (That scare did produce an excellent poem - thank you for sharing it.) I am fond of the winter pod cradle. And of this entire brave post.
Wishes for a calming weekend with sweetness to it. More appreciations.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Like Irene, I love the "unexpectedness" of your Rivers poem. And send wishes for calm waters, too, for Ariana. Also, I share your "how" question for those who manage daily poems... Maybe one of these days! ;0)

Margaret Simon said...

I love the poem "Peace of the angry rivers." So many great lines: "smash rocks as though they were the hard ones." and "promises there's nothing to be afraid of now" Wow, so many layers of meaning!

Michelle Kogan said...

Two powerful poems, thanks for both of them Tabatha. I'm glad your daughter has turned the corner and been able to conquer her epipen, your poem surely describes that turbulent experience–I hope that some peaceful waters will follow for all. I'm always writing about milkweed, I think they are just as beautiful in winter with all their seeds ready to fly out, as they are in summer.

Mary Lee said...

I felt as much hope in those seeds that were scattered as I did in the angry river. Thanks for both and three cheers for Ariana's newfound sense of power!

Linda Mitchell said...

I love that title, The Peace of Angry rivers. What an experience it must have been knowing that the epipen was needed. I hope your daughter recovered quickly and is well now. It's such a scary thing to know that a bit of allergen out in the world is a mortal enemy. There is so much movement in the poem. It succeeds in me feeling moved, changed....couplets were a good way to go. And, the haiku....those empty cradles....what an image. I can hear the sound of them rasping. I think your writing efforts are AMAZING this month. Take a bow!

Unknown said...

The tyranny of the epipen, always brought with, lamented if forgotten. My middle child knows it well. It means a trip to the hospital, too. I hope your daughter was well quickly.

As for the angry river, so vivid. Makes me shiver with how cold river water is.

Tabatha said...

Thank you for the support, all! Ariana has chronic health conditions, including a heart condition. She takes medicine to slow her heart down, so the last thing she wants is a shot of something that speeds it up. That's why it is especially good for her to know that she could manage it okay (and why she would particularly dread it).

Molly Hogan said...

Both poems are rich and resonant, Tabatha. I am fascinated with milkweed in all seasons and those empty cradles were so evocative. Like so many others, I was woed by the title "The Peace of Angry Rivers" and by the imagery throughout. Such a hopeful ending. I'm so glad that your and Ariana's scare is over, the epipen was wielded and the experience was empowering.

Ruth said...

I love

"The rampage is here, you are it,
and you are riding it, and you can."