Just Enjoy Yourself Poetry Marathon Week 47

Busy times at my house. We are embarking on an updo of our basement. We have thrown out or given away a lot of items and continue to do so. We plan to reorganize our much-reduced load of stored possessions and I want to move my painting activities to this area (weare also making changes to my studio space upstairs which is why this last is happening).

An earlier slapdash paint job and floor installation will be updated. New ceiling tiles are being put in place (taking down each one adds to my dismay over how much mouse poop a house can accumulate over the fifty years since these ceiling tiles were installed). I have just finished painting the ductwork black and replaced maybe 30% of the ceiling. I will be starting on the walls tomorrow.

These changes set the tone for this post. I am considering the role of poetry and writing in my life for 2021. I can say now that the Marathon series will end with this year. I’m not able to leave home to devote a day to writing, given circumstances. And the idea of the Marathon was originally to give me a breathing space, a separate place for contemplation and rest – something I no longer feel the need for in the same way.

I would like to integrate poetry writing back into my everyday life, along with home renovations, artwork (I am also making changes here, in that I am no longer going to be doing art shows – art will be just for fun.), and other interests I have neglected, just discovered, or want to explore more.

I named this Marathon “Just Enjoy Yourself” at the end of 2019, expressing what I hoped it would become in 2020. It seems like a cruel joke now, this name, but I have persevered, and will finish things out. And I want to say that though 2020 cannot be described as enjoyable, at least for me it has forced me to open my eyes and see a lot of things differently, and more clearly. I think that is a good thing.

OK. On to writing. We have a very typical November day that’s finishing up now – here is my back yard.

I continued last week’s activity of using random phrases and word juxtapositions to spark poems. Here goes.

This haiku was written from “Dial eight”. A character on a TV show I was watching told someone to get on the phone and call the front desk – “dial eight”.

Dial eight and talk loud
Anybody who answers
Shout’em down. And good.

A tanka. The phrase was “invigorating idyll”. I made this pairing from hearing the two words in different contexts and liking the alliteration. Don’t know how it ocurred to me to write about a spa, though.

  1. Two weeks at the spa.
    Invigorating idyll.
    of recent nuisances done –
    I’m so relaxed now. I purr.

This tanka originated with the word “copyright”.

blurred copyright year
a book coy about its age
charmless and dated
the former belle of the ball
presents her tattered dance card

This tanka is written from this afternoon’s visit from a fox. We have many animals who come into our back yard (three bucks chasing each other went through as well this afternoon, crashing through the hedge – I was amused to see one of them heading off with branches stuck in his antlers…).

This fox did exactly what this poem said. He’s come into the yard before and I recognize him. I like foxes. They are quite confident animals.

skinny fox still young
patchy fur and threadbare rump
stringy tail held straight
no looks and no lack of poise
comes right up to the back door

Thank you for reading.

9 thoughts on “Just Enjoy Yourself Poetry Marathon Week 47

  1. Some major changes going on! I’m doing some clearing too and your images/story will be added to my inspiration nook (in my mind). I enjoyed reading about the bucks and your fox friend. There are deer in the general area where I live but I have only once seen one wander into our yard.

    • Yes, there is clarity emerging from clouds of confusion and destruction, it looks like, sometimes I think a jolt is a very good thing (though I wish it were not tied in with such lethal consequences). It feels good to be fixing something up here at home when most of the world is beyond any action of mine making much difference. As for the animals, for living 1/2 mile from the Philadelphia city line, it is like a more remote forest here sometimes with all that is going on.

      • Your comment about home projects put an angle on it that feels true and appealing. As much as we may make efforts to help the course of events ‘out there’ our impact is not clear. At home we can sink our efforts into projects and feel the satisfaction of results. So important now when other opportunities have gone.

        • Yes. I swore I would never paint a room again. (we are serial home renovators and over the past 30+ years I cannot tell you how many rooms I have painted using all the known colors of the spectrum…) Now I am really enjoying this project. Truly a change in perspective.

  2. Another terrific set of poems. As much as I do enjoy the regular installment of poetry, I appreciate and applaud your decision to change things up and do whatever organically feels like the right approach to your creative pursuits. I think being in touch with that sense of what brings you enjoyment and what is feeling like a chore is really important to avoid creative burnout. You seem to be very accomplished at pivoting to new things and recreating your creative life in a new mould so I know you are going to come up with a great new plan – or maybe no plan at all.

    I hope your home renovations go smoothly. We had the same experience with mouse poop when removing our dropped ceiling in the basement. Very gross. We also had a mummified mouse which was fascinating but definitely not something I wanted in my home. I look forward to seeing the transformation.

    As we draw close to the end of 2020, I too find myself taking advantage of the slowed down, suspended state of life to reevaluate some things. Obviously a lot of 2020 has been gruelling and awful but I am trying to focus on the benefit of the learning experiences and the things I am grateful for. Every challenge also presents an opportunity, right?

  3. 2020 has been a cruel joke in general. Congrats on redoing your basement. Congrats on moving to just doing art for fun, for your own enjoyment! Your backyard in lovely!

    • Thank you. I am thinking of 2020 as a time when I chose a fork in the road and started moving along in a new or amended direction. It is helping me to characterize this year in that way.

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