Witness. My First Poem in Nearly Twenty Years.

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

I’ve been participating in my writing class for nearly two months, now. I feel as though I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, sliding outside the comfort zones I’ve placed around myself for so long.

The first part of the class focused on poetry, something I did a lot of in my teen years, yet haven’t touched in a long, long time. I’ve placed most of my focus on writing short stories or novels. Trying to put all my thoughts into stanzas proved to be a very difficult task.

Not to mention all the extremely talented students in my class. Most are at least a decade younger than I am, if not more. They seem to have this natural ability to let loose and share their innermost secrets, while I cling tightly to my privacy.

But in writing poetry, my mind is opening up to new ideas, new prospects. I’m learning how to describe something with more detail, giving it life. It hasn’t been easy, but I think I’m getting there. Which is why I wanted my fellow bloggers to step outside their comfort zones, too. For my topic this week, I chose: Write a poem. Sounds so simple in theory, doesn’t it?

The poem I’m sharing today is one I wrote for the class. It’s the poem I chose to have read aloud, what my instructor calls a “workshop”. Everyone offered suggestions and gave great feedback on Witness, even helping me out with a title, since I had such a hard time coming up with one on my own.

The students also helped me to discover hidden messages about my own poem, that I hadn’t even seen for myself. Like, how the general voice is one of a child. Only, the events in this poem happened when I was a late teen. I pointed out that I’ve always been a late bloomer, so a child’s voice makes perfect sense. I still had a very naive sense of the world and how I viewed it, back then.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the poem, and what you think it means. What I love the most is how a poem can reach people differently,  viewed differently. I can’t wait to read the poems my fellow bloggers have written.

Witness

I remember the day I knew I was an ant
inching in solidarity
With the other unsuspecting ants.
A passenger along for the ride
Bumpers barely kissing
in the Arizona desert.

Tires glued to black tar
Waiting,
Heat driving us mad
Internally
While the air conditioning stilled
our tempered sanity.

No ambulance.
No stretcher to mark the miles.
Just a few squad cars,
Carpenter ants in charge
Directing us from the inevitable
Yet
I saw.

The body called out for grievance
Eyes like headlights, bearing witness
to its passing.
A cavernous pelt of corn yellow.
I wanted to sink my hands beneath the purity of it
Radiating life into stilled breath.

Wind steady
Enveloping sprawled legs,
twitching
Pink button nose
dried out by a hot, leathery sun
Innards black and slippery, like moldy cream.

I could see clear through, sawed halves to make a whole
One side baking dejectedly
A near perfect incision
The other a blanket of flies
Nature’s grotesque science experiment
gone awry.

I passed beyond the epicenter
My unlined hand touching torrid glass
briefly
Knowing

that there would be moments of grandeur
Of getting too comfortable
My mind will never let me forget
The innards
A stark reminder
Of how much of an ant I really am
amidst a sea of bumpers.

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3 thoughts on “Witness. My First Poem in Nearly Twenty Years.”

  1. I really enjoyed it (and you know my feelings on poetry). I can’t imagine having to read aloud a poem I wrote. Good for you!

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