Welcome to another Poetry Friday Poetry Peeps adventure!
Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge for the month of August! Here’s the scoop: We’re doing Exquisite Corpse poetry. These collaborative poems necessarily involve yourself and at least one other passing lines or stanzas along, so now’s the time to start choosing poetry compatriots. Are you in? Good! The Poetry Sisters are continuing with our 2023 theme of TRANSFORMATION somehow wedged or sneaked into this form – and we’re going to also sneak in a few of Linda Mitchell’s clunkers to give us more to play with. If you’re still game, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on August 25th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.
It’s eleventy billion degrees here as I’m writing this (though tomorrow is forecast to be a whole five degrees cooler) and I view the calendar with horror… After a mostly mild summer which has suddenly hit ridiculous temperatures, it’s almost August… Which means it’s all but over. What?! My tomatoes haven’t even bothered to ripen!! In our neck of the woods, by August 1st, many teachers report back to school. At my nephew’s school, August 13th… is the first day of classes.
As the Bard says, “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
As always, my imagination takes me back to school this time of year (no matter how former, no teacher ever seems to lose the idea that September begins a new year) and I was thinking about the differences between my nephew at the beginning of his junior high experience, when he was a talkative, shorter, rounder person – and who he became by the end of it – a lanky, tall person who won’t use two words when a grunt and a side-eye would do. These thoughts fit well into our poetic theme of transformation — though for a while it felt like not much fit a monotetra. This is such a deceptively simple form, just four lines and eight syllables per line – but the final line repeating the same four syllables was… hard. With such a short syllable allotment for the stanzas, it feels as if each word should do more work than simply sitting there, so a repetition seemed pointless. I tried to make it work with homonyms – and I’m aware I wasn’t entirely successful (and at one point just gave myself an out to do what I wanted) but did I mention that it’s eleventy billion degrees out? I’m doing a patented L.P. Salas One & Done today, since normally we’re all a mite envious of her ability to just crank a poem out and call it good. We peeps are here for the PRACTICE of poetry, not the perfection of it, and I’ve officially practiced. I’m out.
(Gotta admit, though, that I did like playing with the homonyms, and sometime when I’m in a better mood, this might be a form to revisit. For someone who usually doesn’t mind requirements of rhymes and rules and syllables … the final line thing felt unnecessary, and for me, didn’t add anything. Others may have had a MUCH better time, however, so don’t miss the Laura Salas special, or Sara’s poemsmith-ery, or Mary Lee’s wordswimming. Tricia’s poeming is here, and Liz’s poem is here. Michelle K’s parrot poem is here, and Heidi’s nototetra slays me, while Linda B’s is scary. Carol’s gorgeous flowers (and poem) are here. Kelly isn’t with us this month, but other Peeps may be checking in with their masterful monotetra-ing throughout the weekend, so stay tuned.) Don’t miss the Bookseed Studio Dragonfly Bonanza – thanks Jan, for hosting Poetry Friday today!
when you walk into a classroom
in eight grade, you won’t assume
that you’re a bud about to bloom:
(Cramped petals push: Make room! Make room!)
In every classroom, eyes compare
Those newly tall, some longer hair
Such change! Arriving from nowhere!
Of who, what, where – you’re quite aware.
Suddenly, last year’s playground joy
Is sneered at – who’s got time for toys?
The things you once loved now annoy.
You’re moody, coy, your moods decoy.
Fast as the year is passing by,
The sparkling social butterflies
Befriend the world. You’re so tongue-tied
You get a high from saying “hi.”
But then – the last class of the year!
One final test, and then a cheer
Erupting, you launch into gear.
You leap like deer. You disappear.
One thing the endless round of school years reminds us is that time. just. flies. The days get shorter and the years blur faster and the what you wanted to do won’t wait for the when you thought you would do it… No matter what happened yesterday, there is still a road forward into tomorrow. Now is the best present we’re ever going to get – so grab it with all your senses and make it count. Here’s to leaning open-heartedly into your one wild, precious life. Happy (Breathlessly Hot) Weekend.