First line from Leatha Kendrick’s Zen Laundry
Mornings, pulled earthward, I approach
my oak with expectation, not for any one particular
thing, but the unrelenting (relentless, that would be?) unwavering
in the way of tall, statuesque, mountain-like pause on earth
that my towering companion offers me-barefoot,
still warm from my quilt and just as rumpled.
I stretch my arms skyward, mimic her crown touching new light,
sampling air with fingertips that spangle green and sunshine,
dodging acorns falling capless at my feet.
Mornings pulled earthward, I reach,
seeking unabashed growth caused by the digestion of light.
Suzi Banks Baum
October 16, 2015
Mornings pull me earthward. I slept last night having read from Melissa Pritchard’s A Solemn Pleasure, about a young woman in the military. This young woman’s heroic presence came in to my dreams. Does this happen to you? When what you are reading dances with you all night long? For this reason, I steer clear of news and my phone and email after a certain point-some nights closer to my head on the pillow than others, but I aim to offline at least an hour before I get in to bed. I just sleep better.
I found a new poet last night during my Powder Keg Sessions writing workshop at the Ramsdell Public library. I pulled a random book from the poetry shelves and found Leatha Kendrick’s poem, Zen Laundry. You can imagine my delight. I used Leatha’s first line to jump start this poem.
This morning, oh, this morning. The light in the Berkshires is pure golden.
I take it in as best I can, repeating my morning poems and vows. I speak a poem in the morning, like my kids used to repeat a morning verse in their classrooms at the Waldorf School they attended. As a kid, I repeated the Lord’s Prayer at the Lutheran school I attended, that and the Pledge of Allegiance.
What words do you rise with?
What is this post about? Morning and how I greet the day. And poems. And fall. And the plentitude of acorns out in my yard. Really now.
Showing up outside to greet the oak in my yard is just part of my morning ritual. I take out the compost so as not to appear dawdling, what with it being dawn and there are things to do, people to see, and lunches to assemble. Standing under my oak just sets something very quiet in me right.
How about you? What starts your day?
Oh I must tell you that the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival was a blast last weekend. The collaborative short movie we made, called The Permission Slip was honored with a Curator’s Choice award. You can see the reels of this year’s winners here. Many thanks to the creators of Rabbit Heart and my dear pal, Sou MacMillan, who invited our little film in to the mix!
Here is to acorns and many good ways to start our days,
P.S. So maybe you are sipping your tea asking, “Why the heck does she keep writing about poetry?” and I will say that as I take deeper dives in to my own writing and a sense of the holy, the more I crave and am nourished by poetry. Spirit moves easily among and around poems. Poems are like prayers to me. As a mother, I read so many poems to my children. I think poems, especially rhyming poems are part of our collective culture. Think “Hickory dickory dock” or “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves…” I keep a collection of poems that I love here on LLD. Right now, as I overhaul this website, they are just stacked up in the corner. You can find them here.