April is national poetry month, and is celebrated by a Poem A Day challenge to anyone who loves poetry. I am busy teaching an online class, but will attempt to offer something each day, through the month. Simple short verses, no particular form, but want to stick to the theme of inspiration, especially that of other poets, and writers. Please join me if you like, and leave your URL in the comment sections below. I will try to visit, read, and comment. The theme is simply my choice, and does not have to be yours.
I knew her when the years had rubbed the edges
off her hunger
off her fear
You never knew the curly haired little girl,
who trembled (head to toe) when eager father
would grab her hand, then lift her onto
the stage with unfamiliar musicians,
and their skeptical eyes. How they
played with tentative notes,
until she opened her mouth
and in perfect pitch, sang first line
of whatever country song was requested.
She, was always aware, how after only three
or four words, they relaxed, got down
with the beat and harmonic rhythms,
suddenly eager to join their instruments
to this impromptu performance.
Never understood how, in her abject terror,
she did that again and again,
until, in middle age,
picked up a pen, wrote a poem,
and finally began to feed her need,
desperate hunger to really be heard.
Elizabeth Crawford 4/4/2017
Footnotes: Spent most of Sunday reading other people’s poems, writing comments in response to those they left on my own. A few of them jumped out at me. Audrey Howitt’s poem, No Yams For Me Please, was one of them. It is a stark reflection of what can happen to an individual when she/he endures physical hunger, day after day, for years. Many of us, who live in this country, don’t know the effects that has on the human psyche. In my current class, we are exploring the shadow aspect of the psyche, that part of our experience we wish to deny, want to hide from view, don’t want others to know about. That shadow has hungers just as strong as physical needs. Hungers, that left unfed, might cheat us of the myriad possibilities the Universe offers, and what we truly are capable of becoming. Audrey’s poem may be found here:
My poem, today, is biographical, most of them are, in one sense or another. I was the little girl, and I never completely lost that trembling fear, when my father would haul me up to the stage, demanding that I be allowed to sing, whenever we attended a family gathering that included a band for entertainment. The first time I read my poetry aloud, I shook so badly, I couldn’t find the words on the page from which I was reading, and I’m fairly certain the rustling of the paper was almost as loud as my voice. But, after I sat down, a young woman, complete stranger, came over and asked me quietly, where she could purchase a book of my poetry, because she loved what I had read. That was the moment I began to sense my own inner hunger, and how to heal it.
Image is a digital painting I created a few years ago, while playing with Indigo Blue.