Each day a bird would shelter
in the withered branches of a tree
that stood in the idle of a vast, deserted plain.
One day a whirlwind uprooted the tree,
forcing the poor bird to fly a hundred miles
in search of shelter—
till it finally came to a forest
of fruit-laden trees.
If the tree had survived,
nothing would have induced
the bird to give up its security and fly.
— Anthony DeMello, One-Minute Wisdom
I’ve written a lot of poetry this month. I took up the write-one-poem-a-day challenge of the National Poetry Writing Month and had a lot of fun with it.
The good thing about writing one poem a day is, as William Stafford’s son pointed out, you don’t have to write a GOOD poem every day.
The month culminated in presenting a workshop for the National Association for Poetry Therapy conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Which is in the middle of a desert. Which is where I literally found myself, the little bird that once sat in a dead tree tree, perched in a “healing garden” filled with fruit-laden trees.
You don’t get more poetic than that!
Well, actually, you can:
A tiny goldfinch, the symbol of resurrection, appeared on a water fountain in front of me as I sat in the garden with an old friend.
So there you are.
Poetry, in real life.
(Check out my favorite photos from my visit on my FB site.)
To celebrate, I’ve selected three poems to share. One is a found poem, collected as ReadBack lines from the Open Mic night we had at the conference. I wasn’t quite ready to share any poetry yet, so, I played my ukulele to open the show. Which was risky and vulnerable and lots of fun. And then I wrapped the night with the ReadBack lines. Which was magical.
The second poem I wrote at the conference. The third is a group poem I compiled from the participants in my workshop. I’ll share those in a separate post.
So, here we go.