Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Thursday. The last post

There is a lovely optional prompt available at Poetry Thursday this week: "an open window". I will use it sometime, I'm sure, but today, what I have to offer is not what I'd intended. I thought I might find something celebratory, something sweet, something light and joyful when I went to my file of poems written and not yet posted/published/workshopped. What I found was this:


She might go searching
for the name of the thing
that makes him what he is.

She might be thinking
that label fits, and what that doctor
on the radio said, that made sense;

and the cousin whose son
turned on them all, when the voices said he should,
that sounded familiar;

and she might think that having a name for it
will make the way he tortures her
somehow more bearable,

but I doubt her sleep will be any easier
for that word; doubt she’ll let his threats
leave her mind; doubt the name will matter when
what does is the lump in her throat,
the fear in her heart
when she hears his key in the door.


Not celebratory at all, and yet, it's an indicator of the power of Poetry Thursday that at some time I wrote this piece, put it in a file on my laptop, and forgot I'd written it. It sat there, having taken something away for me, having allowed me to distil a memory into something small, something that relieved what had sat in my gut or my heart.

I say "the power of Poetry Thursday" rather than simply "the power of Poetry" because I know that Poetry Thursday has been the thread that has kept me most in touch with poetry over the past year and more. It has been the regular pulse of poetry in my life, more than journals and magazines that have arrived in the post; more, even, some of the time, than being at meetings of my writers' groups. There have been times I made it to meetings, times I didn't, and I know there have been times I have been absent (as in not posting, when I've been away) from Poetry Thursday, but I've checked in on return to see what prompts I'd missed, to read a smattering of the contributions.

Yes, I think it fits that this poem is not about Poetry Thursday, and that it has nothing to do with this week's prompt, because it is one of the little fruits of Poetry Thursday that has made it such a remarkable endeavour.

There was no special formala applied to the creation of Poetry Thursday other than love of poetry. That was the ingredient it began with. To their love, Liz and Dana added enthusiasm, encouragement, openness, humour, respect for all participants. I think what they did was a shining example of going with an impulse. At some point, one of them wondered "What if...?" and didn't dismiss the idea. They inspire me to listen to ideas with more willingness to follow them through, wherever they may lead.

So many of the participants here have expressed good wishes for Liz and Dana. I want to say again that I know I cannot express my thanks adequately for what they have done, nor can I say how much I wish them well in everything they do, in every new venture they take on.

Namaste, my friends.
Postscript: (Added Friday). Two things: In some comments, I gather people are thinking the poem is autobiographical. Happily, I can tell you it is not. The "memory" is of having spent time with a woman for whom this was a real experience.

... And, for some reason, I haven't been able to post comments that include permalinks on the Poetry Thursday site, so my response to the last, last post - Liz Elayne's request that we nominate one of our archived posts, is in my Why I Love Poetry post from January last. I want to share it with you again because it DOES have the celebratory air I thought this final post should have had, and because I will never publish it in print - except to distribute it in random acts of Guerrilla poetry! ( I think I just might occasionally feel the urge to "poem-bomb" somewhere, having overcome my initial fears of the idea!)

... I'm sure I will meet many of you via the new project, but for now, I want to say to all the people I've encountered here via Poetry Thursday: Thanks to all of you for visiting, for commenting, for your encouragement, for your own poems, and for your friendship.



At 30/8/07 1:01 pm, Anonymous Brian said...

A perfect tribute that many, if not all of us understand. PT is a special place and I hope that this is merely the beginning.

At 30/8/07 1:10 pm, Blogger Rich said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and I am glad that you enjoyed the photos, I plan on adding more on a regular basis for everyone to enjoy. I am not much of a writer but my feeling are expressed through my photography.

At 30/8/07 4:48 pm, Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

This poem you shared here is incredibly powerful...sigh. I will miss PT too--but, thanks to you, I have a beautiful little reminder of it! (I happened to mention about this on my post today...thank YOU!)

At 30/8/07 6:30 pm, Anonymous This Girl Remembers said...

Oh, what a stark and painful yet beautiful poem. And you put into words just how I've been feeling about Poetry Thursday too. Thank you!

At 30/8/07 7:43 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

A powerful poem of a past memory that reminded you of your healing journey. Lovely tribute!

At 30/8/07 11:47 pm, Blogger Julie Marie said...

I have so enjoyed reading about your trip and the photos that went with them - plus the Journey Haiku. I have come back several times to savor your words.

I checked your blog quite often when you were gone and I was beginning to be afraid that you had gotten lost in the vastness of America!

Regarding Poetry Thursday, several of my blogging friends have been mourning its demise. Too bad someone else can't take over and organize it.


At 31/8/07 12:06 am, Blogger Amber said...

Powerful, powerful.


At 31/8/07 12:07 am, Blogger Amber said...

How true it is, that we seem to think if we can only *name* our pain, if we could understand it...Then maybe we could kill it.


At 31/8/07 2:48 am, Blogger Julie Marie said...

Regarding your comment on my blog: It would be a dilemma. I have only visited California (No Cal) only once but fell in love with it, as only a summer-starved North Dakotan can. Primroses and tulips in February?" OMG.

When you come back, please visit both but please come to ND and stay with me. I'll show you ND at its best. (But not winter, ha!)


At 31/8/07 3:01 am, Blogger ...deb said...

Oh my. It's all just right. Thank you for the powerful words, and for saying out loud some of the same things that were in my heart, about PT, and the power of creative impulse.

At 31/8/07 8:43 am, Anonymous Alan Bender said...

Very nice words about Poetry Thursday. q^_^p

I guess what I liked most about it is the fragility. It taught me something about how it comes out even in the words without faces. What would Jack London say if he knew his flippant comment was transformed merely by reading "club" as group of Abelians?

At 31/8/07 9:02 am, Anonymous tinker said...

What a powerful post, Imelda - and who knows who it might reach, that might need to read this very poem at this point in their life, and know they're not alone - because for me at least, that's one of the beauties of poetry. How it can capture a feeling or even a circumstance - something that resonates with the reader, that makes you say "yes, I've felt that same way, too!"
I'll miss Poetry Thursday, too. I hope you'll continue to post your own poetry anyway though, whenever the spirit moves you.

At 31/8/07 12:31 pm, Blogger MAHIMA said...

I write terrible poems so Poetry Thursday is something I only hear of and admire.
Your writing is beautiful.

At 31/8/07 7:15 pm, Blogger AnnieElf said...

I hope your friend was able to find her way out that door and away from him.

At 2/9/07 12:40 pm, Blogger Fledgling Poet said...

Both your poems are beautiful, and moved me, especially "Why I Love Poetry". Perfection! Thank you so much for sharing that again.


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