Categories
Books Creativity Poetry

4 – Pandemic Pause

The construct of time

in our pandemic pause

is such that my computer

now tells me the day —

in small letters the date, too —

and the hours move by

so slowly we seem suspended,

teetering here on trust

that the sun begins the day still,

and the dark is when we rest

and dream of crowds of people

— or that one we adore — before

the sun rises on another day as is

but another day closer, too

and find in that somewhere: Joy.


Right before the world shut down, I was working with photographer Joy Bush to promote her new exhibit at City Gallery in New Haven. We had a phone call scheduled, so I set my phone alarm: 8:50AM, Joy. That’s what inspired today’s poem. You can check out Joy’s thoughtful work on her website: www.joybushphotography.com.


©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity Poetry

3 – Useful

It appears they mostly need it

for its usefulness:

can it produce

assist

support

respond

perform the necessary tasks

be present

be invisible

 

but there’s a deficit

in the transaction

that no one seems to notice

except me

 

©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity Poetry

2 – Soap

It’s a small bar,
tucks into my hand
smooth and white

I’ve pulled it from
its palm-tree wrapper
the one that tells me
in small letters
Soap – Savon – Jabón

It smells like Cape Cod,
that hotel room
with the view of water,
the southern wind
just off the beach,
the cedar trees,
and fresh-washed towels,

so I sing more than 20 seconds —
maybe 40 or 60 seconds —
long enough to stay until
the sun lifts up
and I recognize the day,
my self maybe too,
in a mirror so far away.

 

This poem was featured as part of POETS OF THE PANDEMIC on the website Headline Poetry & Press, April 16, 2020.

©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity Poetry

1 – Level Up!

He was a giant black dog

wooly from toes to eyes

— if he had them —

and every morning

on my way to school

at the end of the street

he would race down his driveway

…..growling

………..non-stop

……………full speed

………………..and full bark

full enough to scare anyone

most especially my 11-year-old self

who hadn’t quite figured out

what to do with her monsters yet

except run, run, run.

 

Then His name is Sam,

a voice yelled from a dark, dusty window

in the gray house set back from the road,

Sam, it rolled down the driveway

and across my path, a magic coin,

a power token, password — SAM

and I knew exactly what to do!

 

The next morning, I bravely stood,

hands on hips and waited

David me for Goliath he

at the end of his driveway

waited and waited and waited

until Sam came out,

…..charging

……….non-stop

……………full speed

………………..and full bark

SAM, SIT! I yelled as loudly as I could

SIT, SAM, SIT!

And then he sat.

And I did too.

First monster vanquished. Level up!

 

©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity Poetry

It’s National Poetry Month!

Happy National Poetry Month! Here at Random Acts of Writing, we’re going to be writing a poem a day — #NaPoWriMo — so check back daily! But did you know that National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996? Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. Here are 30 ways you can participate…

  1. Sign-up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning.

  2. Sign-up to receive a free National Poetry Month poster, or download the PDF, and display it for the occasion.

  3. Read last year’s most-read poem, Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Kindness.”

  4. Record yourself reading a poem, and share why you chose that work online using the hashtag #ShelterinPoems. Be sure to tag @poetsorg on twitter and instagram!

  5. Subscribe to the Poem-a-Day podcast.

  6. Check out an e-book of poetry from your local library.

  7. Begin your virtual meetings or classes by reading a poem.

  8. Talk to the teachers in your life about Teach This Poem.

  9. Learn more about poets and virtual poetry events in your state.

  10. Read about your state poet laureate.

  11. Browse Poems for Kids.

  12. Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore.

  13. Make a poetry playlist.

  14. Browse the glossary of terms and try your hand at writing a formal poem.

  15. Create an online anthology of your favorite poems on Poets.org.

  16. Organize a poetry reading, open mic, or poetry slam via a video conferencing service.

  17. Sign up for an online poetry class or workshop.

  18. Donate books of poetry to little free libraries and mutual aid networks.

  19. Research and volunteer with poetry organizations in your area.

  20. Take a walk and write a poem outside.

  21. Start a virtual poetry reading group or potluck, inviting friends to share poems.

  22. Write an exquisite corpse or a renga with friends via email or text.

  23. Take on a guerrilla poetry project in your building.

  24. Read essays about poetry like Edward Hirsch’s “How to Read a Poem,” Mary Ruefle’s “Poetry and the Moon,” Mark Doty’s “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now,” and Muriel Rukeyser’s “The Life of Poetry.”

  25. Watch a movie, lecture, or video featuring a poet.

  26. Read and share poems about the environment in honor of Earth Day.

  27. Make a poetry chapbook.

  28. Submit your poems to a literary magazine or poetry journal.

  29. Make a poem to share on Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30, 2020.

  30. Make a gift to support the Academy of American Poets free programs and publications and keep celebrating poetry year-round!

National Poetry Month poster, with permission from the Academy of American Poets. Artwork by Samantha Aikman.