An “I am” Poem

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I’ve been revisiting Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s poemcrazy: freeing your life with words. I love this book. The first time I read it, I was driving down to Philadelphia and it simply transformed the journey. This book is one of my all-time favorites. Did I already mention that I love it? Every time I pick it up, I’m again thankful to Catherine Flynn for introducing it to me. It’s a wonder! There are so many prompts and practices that dig into rich poetic territory and celebrate unabashed word joy!

Today I’m sharing an “I am” poem I wrote in response to a practice Wooldridge shares in the book. She provides a long list of questions to answer, starting with “If I were a color, what color would I be? to  “If I were a movement, what movement would I be?” to “What’s the word hiding behind my eyes?” She emphasizes using collected words and seeing images to define yourself with these questions. “Be silly, serious, wry or overdramatic,” she advises….–as long as you’re writing about yourself.”

I am…

I am granite grey
plain Jane, sturdy and dependable
but sometimes sunlight shoots across my surface
igniting flecks of mica and quartz
into quick showers of sparkles
here, then gone
I’m a circle, or more probably, an oval
wobbly on the edges
and a bit dizzy from spinning
round and round
I am a quiet gasp of wonder and worry
A song of sunrise and sunset
Within me lives a distant howling wind
keen and piercing
like the memory of a small child crying
I could never be a sequoia
tall, strong, and directed
my bark is not immune to licking flames
my branches wander hither and yon
like the crony apple tree
that twists and gnarls
yet yields occasional ruby fruit
glistening sweet surprise
Behind my eyes
the word scared lingers
along with trying
sometimes they fight
but sometimes they hold hands
and jump into the fray together

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week you can find the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect. If you’re living in the Northeast, you can surely tuck in some poetry around the forecasted falling snowflakes this weekend!

On that note, I’m going to tuck in two storm-inspired haiku:

winter storm hype
accumulates
faster than snow

©Molly Hogan, 2019

and

Big storm’s coming!

grocery store chaos
toilet paper, bread, and milk
the new trinity

©Molly Hogan, 2019

My Kind of Worship

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This Zeno grew out of my recent thoughts while writing #haikuforhope last month. I hope you’re all feeling charitable, because I sort of cheated; prayer technically has two syllables, but I (and I think/hope many other people) pronounce it with only one, so I’m going with that.

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My Kind of Worship

Sunrise service at the river
pink horizon
eagle’s
stare
scattered sunlight
spider’s
lair
universal
morning
prayer

©Molly Hogan, 2019

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This week Kat Apel is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup from Down Under (here). She’s featuring some wonderful daily poems and photos she’s been sharing on Instagram. Make sure to stop by and check those out and while you’re there, why not click on a few other poetry links as well?

Finishing up December’s #haikuforhope

unnamedWriting #haikuforhope during December was simply wonderful. Last year, I participated, but on a much more limited basis. I’m not sure if I created a haiku every day this year, but I was darned close! The process focused my attention amidst the blur of holiday activities and helped me tap into the heart of it all. I’m so thankful to have written along with others during the month, and as I’ve said before, reading their haiku was inspiring and educational. I learned so much from these fellow writers and mentors!

Along with writing haiku, another one of my favorite things about December was having break and more time to explore and take photographs. This was doubly rewarding, as getting out and about with my camera fuels my writing. My early mornings at the river inspired two of my final haiku and have sparked another poem that’s still in pieces but feels like it has potential. I also wrote a haibun with one of these haiku for this week’s Slice of Life. Finally, I took a field trip to Portland, ME to visit the “celebrity” Great Black Hawk who’s taken up residence in an urban park. There’s quite a story to go with this bird (here), but I was struck by the difference in how we treat this avian immigrant versus human ones. Another haiku was born.

Here are my final three #haikuforhope from December:

December 29th:

morning fog
drenches rising sun
watercolor world

December 30th:

bird immigrant
celebrated arrival
modern day irony

December 31st:

bald eagle and I
patiently await the dawn
morning communion

(If you’re interested, here’s the link to the haibun I wrote with this haiku for this week’s Slice of Life (here). )

All haiku ©Molly Hogan, 2018

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Sylvia Vardell at her blog, Poetry For Children. She is sharing an impressive and exciting list of poetry titles expected to be published in 2019. Talk about anticipation! Go take a look, recognize some familiar names (Yay!) and be sure to plan your yearly budget accordingly!

 

A flurry of haiku, #haikuforhope

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There’s still no snow in coastal Maine, but the flurries of haiku continue. I’ve been consistently inspired and impressed by the poems shared by #haikuforhope participants during this month. Here’s a glimpse at my week in haiku.

December 21st:

holiday baking
cinnamon-scented memories
inhale deeply…hold…

December 22nd:

drifting asleep
somersaulting through my day
mental gymnastics

December 23rd:

airport insight
hello is a prelude to
another goodbye

December 24th:

last minute wrapping
scissors flash, ribbons fly
paper tornado

December 25th:

Christmas Morning Miracle

dull metal barn roof
under moonlight’s soft caress
transforms to silver

December 26th:

Seasonal Preserves

today’s harvest yields
glowing jars of ripe moments
tomorrow’s sustenance

December 27th:

laughter drifts upstairs
their late night sibling revelry
sweetens my dreams

All haiku © Molly Hogan, 2018

Donna Smith is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog, Mainely Write. She’s sharing thoughts on finding your way and a delightful angel poem inspired by the angels in her new home.  You can spend some pleasant hours exploring links to other poetry posts while you’re there. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, I encourage you to visit Twitter and check out #haikuforhope.

Life Clock

photo credit to L.P. Salas

One pleasure of vacation is a bit more flexibility in the morning. Each Thursday morning, Laura P. Salas shares a photo prompt and a 15-Words-Or-Less poetry challenge. I’ve loved participating in the past, but recently have found that the photo prompt arrives as I’m on my way out the door to work, or at least quickly moving in that direction. With the luxury of unscheduled time, I was able to participate this week. Today’s photo inspired this response from me, colored by the recent loss of a long time family friend.

Life Clock

magnificent, intricate system
each whirligig
and curlicue
mysteriously synchronized
in rhythmic beat

until it’s not

©Molly Hogan, 2018

#haikuforhope

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I’m still participating in #haikuforhope, trying to write a haiku each day during the month of December. I wasn’t as successful this past week, and I missed a couple of days. Overall, this hasn’t been a productive writing month for me, and I’m more and more thankful for the nudge to write haiku!

December 15th:

A.M. Tragedy

morning’s sweet promise
takes an unexpected turn
fly in my coffee

©Molly Hogan, 2018

December 17th:

hollyhock stalks
festooned with snowflakes
blossom anew

©Molly Hogan, 2018

December 18th:

water, wind and cold
elemental alchemy
winter masterpiece

©Molly Hogan, 2018

December 19th

cloud congregation
clusters on the horizon
anticipating dawn

©Molly Hogan, 2018

December 20th

Christmas Homecoming

the day passes
anticipating her hug
molasses hours

©Molly Hogan, 2018

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Buffy Silverman at her blog, Buffy’s Blog. Make sure to stop by and read her review of a beautiful book of science/poetry, The Stuff of Stars.

More Haiku for Hope

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I’m so thankful for the focus of writing haiku this month. It’s been a blessing. Thank you again (and again and again!) to Mary Lee Hahn for the invitation to write haiku daily in December with #haikuforhope. Here are my contributions for the past week.

Dec. 8th

within busy days
one may discover oneself
disappearing

©M. Hogan, 2018
(street art from a corner in Puerto Rico)

Dec. 9th

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in bitter winter
River shivers in her bed
ice shatters like crystal

©M. Hogan, 2018

December 10th

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fading oak leaf
ignites at dawn
final blaze of glory

©M. Hogan, 2018

Dec. 11th

Full Moon Memory

the moon appliqued
intricate branches
onto indigo sky

©M. Hogan, 2018

December 12th

dizzy holidaze
life glides into focus
writing haiku

©M. Hogan, 2018

December  13th

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on River’s skin
Winter’s icy winds etch
hieroglyphics

©M. Hogan, 2018

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the warm and welcoming Laura Shovan at her blog. She’s sharing a snowy poem by Jona Colson that is full of beautiful words and  imagery.