“Poetry forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.”
– Audre Lorde, “Poetry is Not a Luxury” reprinted from Poets & Writers
Poetry startles us to listen to an interior voice we business artists often forget or ignore.
That voice, rife with image and cadence, odd combinations and surprising twists, reminds us of a reservoir we each possess for intentional living, business artistry, and, yes, innovation.
Poetry more than any form might be the innovator’s language whether she identifies herself as poet or not. Innovation to create, to combine, to think, to make, to feel, to live anew.
A few things have conspired in my attention to write this piece today and to invite you to write your year anew.
One: I’ve noticed a few friends and numerous people in our private and free #Quest2015 forum have drafted poems that light a way for their year.
Two: I have known for months that this year might be the year I bring forward again my poetry. In my twenties and thirties I regularly published poetry, but for the past decade although I have written poetry steadfastly I have not deliberately sought to publish much. That will change.
Three: This month’s issue of Poets & Writers featured a set of writing prompts, something I have not noticed before. Here is the prompt:
As the New Year begins, heed Lorde’s message. Poetry is the means by which we build a future, not just for ourselves, but also for the world at large. Take a moment now to think big. Write down all the hopes you have for the year to come and weave them together into a poem. Keep this poem with you as a guide – read it when you feel you’re drifting off course.
Four: I took a walk with words and dreams.
I offer mine and invite yours. Include yours in the comments section here or link to your own.
Where to begin? Begin by looking and listening. Look at something sensual and physical and render part of it into words. Listen to the voice running through you. Don’t force anything at first. Follow the line of words. Play with arrangement as you wish.
You can click here to listen.
A pulsing green village
Fat and fatigued with vision my eyes recede
this morning as I walk the woods to forget
wall calendars and grand plans. Below a gray
shroud, tiny moments like walking blossoms crawl
before me and beg me to stoop to stroke them.
Last night my little girl painted my toe nails blue
and purple, the hands of a matron and artist,
as she hummed a song she made up of flowers dying
in the night’s mouth, their petals, she sang,
were not sad but full. Full of what? I asked.
Full of color, she said and finished her work.
A stream’s breath of warm ice snakes through
the snowy woods and asks me, asks us questions.
What if this year cracked open with a startling hue?
Could you bear the possibility without going blind
and losing your way? Why not
tend to the shifting light and find
the prize in paying attention? Why not
contain a quiet brilliance until it refuses
to be contained and see what happens in hiding? Why not
let time open like a mouth agape
at the people gathered on your front porch
awaiting your return home and your arrival
at where you are meant to be?
The year begins here with water rushing under ice,
the woods suddenly full of orange horizons and yellow questions,
red threads that lead to a pulsing green village
where we are saturated in buds together.