I've enjoyed the first week of my summer vacation very much. It has featured naps and times with friends and time to write.
Today I want to share two recent poems. The first one is based on a message I recently got from Facebook, informing me of how many likes my posts had garnered. I was astonished by what a large number it was, and then immediately scolded myself both for caring about whether people like what I post, or write, or am, and also for never, ever being satisfied, for never thinking I am good enough.
The second poem is from a prompt I shared with my writing group. I got the idea from Irene Latham when I read her book The Sky Between Us
. In my review
, I wrote: "Some poems made me want to write responses. Self-Portrait as
suggested other self-portraits in the guise of objects,
finding points of connection between self and beautiful thing." Here's how I phrased the prompt for my writing group. First I shared Irene's poem, and then I wrote: "Write a self-portrait, but instead of directly describing yourself, describe an object that obliquely resembles you."
So here goes:
Facebook sent me
a message this week
I have received
on my posts.
(Click, click, click)
So much liking,
so much appreciation,
that I am OK.
would be enough
But I am still
the pigtailed fifth grader
drew two boxes
with a pencil,
wrote “Do you like me?
Check yes or no.”
and passed the paper
to her friend.
May I ask
87,000 more times?
will you always
Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Self-Portrait as Bougainvillea
Purple and yellow
Survives floods and winds and drought.
Heart-shaped leaves welcome;
Thorns and toxic sap rebuff.
Blue and rose
In Paraguay and Argentina called santa-rita,
After the patron saint of heartbroken women,
But in Honduras called Napoleón,
Strutting in military garb, bright and showy and confident.
Crimson and orange
Named after the explorer Bougainville,
Even though it had been there
In South America
Long before he showed up
And it continues to change, making spontaneous hybrids,
Adapting and adjusting, swarming all over walls and gates
From Switzerland to Nepal, the Caribbean to the Pacific,
Basking in the sun from Kenya to Australia.
Fuchsia and scarlet
Bright paper blooms
Shield the delicate white center
Where the real flower lives.
I've posted about bougainvillea before, here
Mary Lee has today's roundup.