I didn’t think I was a poet… it wasn’t until I went to the Molly Keane summer Writer’s Retreat in 2018 that I found a poet’s rhythm in my writing. But it was there before. Maybe it comes from being a singer—who knows. But I was thinking that I’d like to put what little pieces I have in this blog because trying to find them in emails or old journals is just too time consuming and frustrating.
This really came about today when I thought of a poem I wrote back in 2016 when I was traveling around the west of Ireland planning and designing the TravelBlogging Ireland student trip that my colleague June and I did in 2017 and 2018. On the rainy days when driving around back roads was just too daunting, I started doing the writing exercises in Ursula LeGuin’s Steering the Craft—a way to turn a day full of lemons into written lemonade. More than a year later I came across it again and sent it to Renée Soto, a dear friend and colleague who also suffered migraines and was… a poet.
Reading it over now, having exposed myself to much more poetry in the years since I first jotted this down, I realize that it’s really “pros-etry”—but it could be pared down to essentials and turned into something better.
Excerpted from an email, November 30, 2017:
Subject: Because I know you understand…
I did this as a SHORT AND LONG exercise from Ursula LeGuin’s book Steering the Craft… The sentences are short enough to almost create poetry… what do you think? 😉
It starts with a stiff neck.
Slowly, a shadow spreads over my cheek.
A hot spot takes root over my eye.
It begins to throb.
And then it’s there—migraine.
Words are lost.
Time is an endless vortex.
I want to come to the end of it.
Once it’s rooted, my only hope is sleep.
But that’s not always possible.
Sometimes I work.
I burrow into a spreadsheet.
Pushing the pain away.
If I get outside myself it gets better.
And then, suddenly, it’s gone.
The pill did its work.
I am whole again.
But the day is lost.