{npm24: 12}

Happy Poetry Friday!

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the BrenĂ© Brown’s TED talk from a few years ago wherein she mentions a Christmas movie – a family in a car singing carols, the camera panning over the individual faces, and then — she stops the imaginary movie, then she asks people what happens next. People immediately say “car crash.” Others add to that, imagining oncologist based bad news, serial killers – menace. I heard this in a talk, and laughed out loud. Like, what the heck?! Who are the people who think that?! And what the hell is wrong with them?

Um…? The people who think that is …us. Me. Brown talks about how many people feel like ‘the worst’ is always going to happen. We are fear-based society, raised in fear-based systems – even our faith is fear-based. Joy is greeted with foreboding, and disappointment is a state of being.

When I got done laughing about this, I had to cry.

Do You Believe in Love?

I struggle to believe
My faith lingers in facts:
Time moves on. People leave.
I live with my bags packed.

My faith confesses fact:
Gifts get taken away.
I live with my bags packed –
“Nothing gold can stay.”

Gifts get taken away
Fears, holding them too tight,
Since “nothing gold can stay,”
Dread keeps us from delight.

Fear makes us grip too tight
And, one foot out the door,
Dread blotting out delight,
Does absence faith restore?

My one foot’s out the door,
Time’s moved on. People leave.
Losses leave my heart sore.
I struggle… I believe.

I felt this TED talk rated another repeating poem – but just to be difficult, I have returned to pantoums. Jone’s our hostess today, with a smart interview with the author of a most gorgeous ekphrastic anthology – and Jone herself has a photograph included. Thanks, Jone, and Happy Poetry Friday.

3 Replies to “{npm24: 12}”

  1. I wanted for a moment to think ill again of American culture, but actually I think our fear-based society is the human society. I’m fascinated by Angus Fletcher’s idea that literature is the technology that humans have developed to respond to the insoluble problem of being human: our ability to know that we’re all going to crash and burn, to end, even quietly, and that there will be as much grief as joy along the way. Your poem is like his thesis in pantoum form.

  2. I pushed back on “nothing gold can stay” in my 4/12 poem, too! And apropos of your 4/13 poem, mine was published with a photo of bluebells knocked to pieces by wind and rain.

    Love the synchronicity!

  3. Wow, this really hits home. I’ve spent a long time in the place of dread, waiting for another shoe (and another, and another) to drop. And yet I’ve had the feeling of renewal that this poem holds in the end too. It’s like a circling back to the experience that griefs often lead to rebirths of one kind or another. Battered, but believing. At least, that’s how it hit me.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.