Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the category “A New Poem Every Morning”

Just One More Revolution

No life is wasted if it can move a heart.

No heart is hardened if it can touch a soul.

No soul is lost if it can still reach out,

grab hold, hang on to life,

and move a heart, and touch a soul

and roll around the circle

just one more revolution.

 

#232

 

Lists

A list speaks to new beginnings.
It captures the underpinnings of dreams,
like outstretched wings,
holds them still while you measure them and
calculate the distance between now and then.

Lists distill cherished outcomes
into digestible bites,
doable steps.
Lists live in the future
where everything happens
and anything is possible.
The trick is to always add another item
to the list every time you cross one off.

 

#69

Editing

Extra words in poems are like the scaffolding
surrounding a building. They support the workers as they go,
helping them rise from one level to the next,
allowing them to bring along their tools and extra materials.

But scaffolding is about the worker
not about the work. It is a buffer
and a barrier, obscuring the work from the world.

It can be a fearful endeavour, this baring one’s soul,
putting it on display for prying eyes to interpret.
It’s hard to be brave when you fear to fall,
it’s hard to be honest when no one has to be honest back, but
never hesitate to tear down the scaffolding that
hides your heart.
Let go of the words the way you’d tear down scaffolding.
 

Poems rise from baring
one’s soul.
Be brave.
Be honest.
Never hide your heart.
Let go of the words.

 

#32

Doing the Math

I have spent half of my life
with you
though it feels
alternately like a moment or
an eternity.
One more reason why I know time
cannot be linear or lineal,
cannot be real or relevant.
In retrospect it seems less
amazing that I’ve spent
half of my life with you
than that I spent half of my life anywhere else.

The Coat

Some days I wear a coat of wet blankets.
It becomes me,
with its heavy, sweeping hem
damply swirling the world
into chaos as I pass.
It becomes me,
with its drooping shoulders draped
in a  moist muffler,
dripping paindrops from its tassels.
It becomes me,
with a strange, soggy, sincerity,
it becomes me.
And I know if I don’t take it off soon
I’ll become it.

A Biodegradable Old Bag

A plastic bag hangs in a tree,
billowing and startling, popping and snapping
at every gust of wind.
No breeze is too slight to escape
her rustling displeasure. 

The constant buffeting tears holes,
deflating her, shredding her to ribbons
until, voiceless, she can do nothing but
flutter helpless streamers,
as though signalling for help
 
as one by one,
the bio-degradable ribbons
slough away, to whisper a while
amongst the sighing grass before
dissolving into silence.

Live Music in the Night

I awoke this morning with music in my head.
Snippets and riffs from last night jangling
and dangling, misplaced quarter notes hanging
from synapses like clothes left strewn on the floor.
The tiny tintinnabulations telling me.
There is nothing as visceral, as primal, as right
as live music in the night.

 

Last evening, Bill and I attended the Chetwynd Coffee House – There really is no substitute for live music – no matter how good the recording or how wonderful the sound system – live music will always be an unsurpassably immediate and shared experience. I was also very pleased to have played a few of my songs for the audience and was grateful for their kind welcome.

Ordering a Seed Catalog

It’s an act of faith, really,
ordering a seed catalog in January,
at least it is when you live in the north,
rooted deeply in a cherished belief
that this might be the year the spinach doesn’t bolt
when it’s 3 inches tall.
It’s rather like buying a lottery ticket,
Most of the enjoyment lies
in visions of potential,
in dreams of green.

Rituals

I have missed the morning ritual,
the  gentle coaxing of words
from my sleepy subconscious,
the quest for image and rhyme.
 
The challenge met, there is a void
where discovery used to dwell,
a sense of loss, a loss of senses
honed to a comfortable habit.
 
There is no challenge now,
only the joy of knowing
the poem is already written.
I just need to remember it.

 

Perhaps I won’t be writing them every day anymore, but I guess the morning poem is a habit now.

Editing – Round One (ding ding…)

I managed to get through a first draft of the book over the last couple of days, whittling it down from 380 pages to 241 (including table of content, no front or back matter). I think that was probably the easy part of the editing – the ‘no-brainer’ cutting of poems that simply didn’t make the grade according to my gut. 

Now for the second run through.  My gut exhausted, I am now forced to use my brain (and anyone who has read the poems I’ve written about my brains knows that, on any given day, it’s entirely likely that there are squirrels in charge up there.) So what criteria should I use? My estimable partner, Bill, suggested that the poems that garnered positive response from readers should definitely stay in, and I agree. Thank you all for that feedback!

I’m going to leave in the ones that make me cry; the ones I still have trouble reading out loud. These seem to contain a fragment of soul and so should be given precedence.

There are vers libre, haiku, form poems (a couple of forms that I’m pretty sure I invented along the way). I don’t think form should be a deciding factor.

Unfortunately, cost of printing may end up becoming a factor, as the price obviously goes up with the page count. But I’m thinking perhaps I can turn this into a positive thing, a spur to be more ruthless, to pare the content down into a lean collection that will stand on its own merit.

Round two (boxing ring bell sound fx) of editing coming up…

Hope you all are enjoying holidays – or if you don’t observe any of the many holidays that seem to collide at this time of year – hope you are simply having a lovely day!

Cheers,

Linda (the poet at the bottom of the well)

 

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