Poetry Month Day 19: Litter-ati

Her head is littered
with poetic debris –
random shrapnel of thoughts
the daily barrage of metaphor
that obscures her vision:

the cairn of rocks from her nature walk
how trees grow through fences
(and how they’re like some teachers)
the many places where she stores her ideas
how grief attracts more attention than joy
the waiting-for of lilacs
the student who opens her eyes to hyenas, misunderstood
the giving-away of writing time
(and the pale ritual she’s resigned to)

She can’t not see things as a poet,
without lines and images swirling,
accumulating in staggering piles
so all she can do is
sweep up after herself
or open the door
and let them blow away

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

4 thoughts on “Poetry Month Day 19: Litter-ati

  1. Lainie, is this a poem about a blessing or, well, not quite a curse (but I don’t have a better “opposite word”)? “The daily barrage of metaphor” gives us the “waiting-for of lilacs” and the “cairn of rocks.” I think “the giving-away of writing time” tips your hand, though. As much as this might be autobiographical, I hope you continue to share your struggles with us through your writing.

    Tangential thought: Lilacs are one of the things I really miss about living further north.

    1. Exactly! I think it’s both! I love having a poet’s mind, but there are times I could stand it to be a bit…quieter.

      As for the lilacs. I can see why you miss them. There is nothing better than their scent on a late spring evening.

  2. This is not so much my bane with poems, then it’s usually an asset. The liter-ati that blinds me is in the emotions of story telling. I can write the gut wrenching or softly sighing emotions in the crux of the moment. They are what blind me to the exposition of how the moment comes to pass. The roads that lead to the crux are what I often cannot see gripped in the feeling of it.

    1. THANK YOU. It’s validating to know there are others out there who struggle in one direction or another. Where I also get stuck is going between the VISION of what I see and PRODUCING it in words. It’s like me trying to draw people. I know what they look like, can imagine every contour. Ask me to produce it on paper, and I fall short…

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