Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday morning - how an email exchange becomes a poem

I've been in a great writing mode lately, which is like having a fever that won't stay down because I have not had the time to write that I need in order to cool it off. Sometimes the creative juices will drive a person crazy when it gets all bottled up. A few recent poems came so easily that I had to stop myself and say, they cannot possibly be any good.

So I took them to my critique group and, with a few tweaks, they're done and I'm quite proud of them. Turned out they really are pretty good.

This morning, I got up very early to view the Blood Moon, the total eclipse of the setting full moon in the pre-dawn hours. Boy, was that worth the alarm clock calling me out of a deep, restful sleep! Even in the city here, the stars were brilliant, the enormous Big Dipper hanging handle down in the north sky, Orion in his glory, the Pleiades sparkling.
I had my binoculars and pointed them to the Seven Sisters, which quickly become dozens of sisters and cousins, and the Orion nebula faintly glowing in the dagger below his belt. Jupiter - oh my! With good binoculars, you can see 3 of its moons changing position from night to night.

And in the east, the faintest brown-orange glow of the coming dawn on the horizon of Lake Michigan.

And the moon... in 3-D, the ball shape of it, the nearness of it, its motion in orbit so much more vivid in the shadow of our Mother.

I have a niece in Skokie and I had left a message for her about the eclipse. Confirmation that we are blood relatives, she was up with her coffee at 5:15. I knew she'd have a great view out her living room window. So we exchanged emails about it, our awe and all.

A while later she emailed this message, referring to her 5-yr-old, also my godchild:
Maddy & I had a fight this morning.  We fought over who loves the other more.
Gonna put some tulips in the ground today.
Happy Wednesday.
When I read it, my first thought was, those lines go together really well. I think there's a poem in there. So I told her the poet would do a little rearranging. And this is what appeared:

Maddy and I had a fight this morning.
We fought over who loves the other more,
her five-year-old certainty pushing
back against my mother's love.

Planting tulips in the ground today.
They will flower next Spring.

Blood moon over the urban sky setting in the early morning.


Sure enough, there was a poem in there. I will ponder it some more in coming days.

I love how this happens. It is the best part about being a poet - the more you write poems, the more they come to you, like some language hidden within creation itself just looking for an opening, a stage on which to play and you the mere actor, given the script, wondering where it came from and how it got to that last verse before you even thought about its direction.

But this morning, I was given the prompt and it was not mine, it was hers. And so this poem belongs to Deanna Fritzinger and her Aunt Margie, witnesses to sky wonders in the darkness of the early morning.

Not mine - ours - over a good cup of coffee.

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