As a poetry-challenged reader and writer, curiosity gripped me when Gerald Greene, the resident poet in a writing group I attend, said to me, “You writing style is poetry ready.” He suggested that I look through my memoir and find sections that could be turned into poetry.
This stayed with me all month. All of us were encouraged to bring a poem to our meeting last night. I couldn’t avoid rising to the challenge. I chose to turn something I had written about that solitary retreat I embarked upon in an effort to lighten my rather heavy memoir. The group loved it and Gerry had only minor changes to suggest. So here it is:
The Secret EmergesMy plans foiled, I sigh.
And then I realize a deeper plan is in store.
My neat and tidy weekend takes a turn. Without my computer cord,
I won’t be writing … I won’t find the secret to lightening my memoir.
I bundle in layers for warmth and walk the land. My eyes fall on darkened leaves, broken limbs, and fallen trees
Wet and rotting next to the path.
Preferring neat and tidy, I tsk tsk at the mess. A huge rock by the river calls.
I sit a spell and record in my journal,
“I much prefer the metaphor of the river flowing as life flows–
around barriers, smoothing out our rough places.” Back in the silence of my cabin, I journal more.
I notice a clearing of new awareness and understanding
Emerge out of the messiness in my unsettled, restless, monkey mind. Awe fills me as I comprehend
How the messiness in nature
Mirrors the messiness in my life. The bearers of spiritual gifts —
Surrender leading to my most profound experience with the Divine
Are my challenging, messy children. The veil lifts,
I see now they have been my greatest spiritual teachers.
Without them, I might never have surrendered to a power greater. Miss Neat & Tidy, who feels safest when in control,
Finds the secret and is transformed …
No longer a victim of circumstances, she is the heroine of her life.