Day 1: Committing to Myself

Now, I’ve never been married, but I imagine the cocktail of excitement, passion, doubt and fear I woke up with this morning could be similar to that of the first day of a honeymoon, after the frantic bustle of a wedding has faded and the ageing relatives have been gently nudged back into their hotel rooms.

Wow, we really did this.

This is going to be so amazing!

Can I do this?

Shit this is gonna be hard sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore poetry, there’s nothing else I would have made this kind of a commitment to. And it’s going to be so great. It really is. A year from now I will have 365 poems which do not exist now. I’m going to be a better writer, and changed in ways I can’t imagine.

But still. This is a big commitment. One hour, maybe two, every day for a year. My casual, on-again off-again relationship with poetry just got real serious. It’s too overwhelming to look at the year as a whole. So for today, what do I need to do?

I need to sit down for a few minutes and get out a poem. It doesn’t have to be long, or good. There are no rules, no restrictions. I just have to show up. And tomorrow, I’ll show up again, and again the next day, and again and again. I can’t solve the problems that aren’t here yet. If I was married I couldn’t work out how we’d handle mortgage payments or conflicting career choices or who’s going to take the dog to the vet on the first day of the honeymoon.

But the foundation I set now will impact how well I handle issues when they arise. So while it’s still new and fresh and exciting, I’m going to make sure this poetry challenge and myself are on the best of terms. I’m going to begin in a way that’s disciplined, honest, and fun. Ultimately I can’t know whether I’ll make it to the end or whether any of it will be any good, but I do know if I fail it won’t be for lack of trying.

Poem #1

Sometimes clean slate and cluttered mind look the same.

The buoyancy of this New Time

twitches the ears of a thousand plans and projects,

as they run to me with dancing eyes.

Maybe now we can be born!

I want to give life to them all.

Dreams twirl in the air like sugar plum fairies and

fall about me in snow drifts.

Pure, untouched, clean.

 

Buried in drifts I would be powerless.

Rampant inspiration

I have to temper, tidy,

if it is to fit in my boxy human mind.

And they will lose their slippery perfection,

but what if that’s the price we pay to exist?

A snow shovel is no dewdrop

or crystallized vine

on which a fairy can spin,

but it’s strong and solid,

as these plans long to be.

 

Let me exist on the borders of limitless night

and creative day,

let me bend with aching back

to touch my fumbling hand to

the fine powder again

and breathe in the moment

it turns invisible

and comes into existence

all at once.

 

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