Monday, October 11, 2010

Writing this month has been very hard so far. It feels like work. Usually I can get into some kind of a groove and get a rhythm going and then my mind starts ticking off ideas like crazy. But this month, I have really had to work with each idea and a few I have folded into my journal can't seem to get anywhere. I don't know if I am fighting with the flow, so it doesn't come as smoothly, or if something, some aspect of my creative side has dampened energy. Hard to tell.

Today's poem came to me while I was watching my cats in the morning. I began to that cats are similar to writing poetry -- there are parallel qualities. So I modeled my poem (ever so slightly) after a poem by Taylor Mali, entitled "Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog"

Writing Poetry is like Having a Cat

(with apologies to Taylor Mali)

Writing poetry should not be taken lightly,

while poems can be frisky and fun at first, but

writing poetry is a commitment.

Poems are mysterious creatures,

People have written poems for thousands of years,

yet no one really understands them.

Poems are very independent

and want things on their terms.

Poems can be cunning and tricky.

Let’s say you want to take your poem for a walk,

you put on the leash and go outside.

Your poem will let you lead for a few blocks

perhaps tugging at the leash

but when you turn your head,

it will slip its collar and disappear

showing up later with brambles

and scents of unfamiliar places

-- with no explanation.

Poems are fickle characters.

Sure poems will warm you and nestle into you

but just as quickly they will turn on you

and bite your hand.

It’s best to approach them cautiously.

The more attention you lavish on a poem,

the more it will ignore you.

I frequently sit down to work on my poems

and just as quickly they abandon me

to lounge in the sun or chase an idea about the room.

But let me start chopping onions, or drive my car

those same poems are winding about my legs,

waving their metaphors under my nose

– anything to monopolize my attention.

Poems may be written,

but they are rarely owned.

However, once you have one poem,

you will want poems for the rest of your life.

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