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

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.

#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.

On a Haiku Roll

unnamedRecently, I’ve been on a haiku roll. (Sounds like a special at a Japanese restaurant! lol) I haven’t ever meditated, but I imagine that writing haiku is similar–it narrows my focus and slows me down a bit. It brings me into the present, but also out of the present. I suppose that all writing does this, but the brevity of the haiku really intensifies that process for me. Also, the more I write haiku, the more I realize how much there is to learn about how to do it well.  I’m enjoying that challenge. (mostly!)

With lots of distractions and less writing time recently, it’s also been helpful to have a poetry invitation to motivate me–Mary Lee Hahn’s #haikuforhope or #haikuforhealing. This year, as for the past several years, she’s invited people to write haiku each day during the month of December. Even when I don’t tweet my efforts, I’m doing my best to participate daily. Thanks, Mary Lee!

inside the coffee shop
rain-streaked foggy windows
swaddle us

©M. Hogan, 2018

amidst whirlwind days
reading and writing create
an eye in the storm

©M. Hogan 2018

on the Christmas tree
faded paper and yarn ornaments
induce time travel

©M. Hogan, 2018

Also, I submitted a haiku to “A Sense of Place: City Streets–hearing”  at The Haiku Foundation (they have a weekly theme), and it was selected for that week’s final post (along with a whole lot more!). Yippee! Here it is:

hope in an inhaled breath
indifferent footsteps pass
the weight of a sigh

©M. Hogan, 2018

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Elizabeth Steinglass at her blog, My Blog About Me. She’s sharing a lovely poem about a menorah. Stop by to add some poetry to your holiday festivities!