While Looking Up at Stratus Clouds This Evening, I Was Reminded of You (working title)

I remember an evening laying with you,
Backs down on the top deck of the Sands’ pier.
It was late, though sleep never touched our eyes
And we wandered aimlessly–morphing cumuli across the islands.

We were a living young adult novel:
Two best friends swapping secret dreams under a candid sky,
Planning for futures, for obstacles, for premature deaths
that have now long since passed.

We were like that,
Skipping from one backdrop to another,
On the brink of adulthood, invincible but perpetually fragile;
Lingering away from home each night, testing boundaries,
Blatantly symbolizing our teenage freedom.

You patted my hand and pointed at a cluster of clouds
Inching towards the moon.
“Hand of God” you murmured.
As the appendage stretched to grasp the moon in its clutches,
I responded, “Seize it! Seize it!”
My own hand reaching up too.

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NotSoWriMo After All

I was so excited about this month; about writing and sharing the good and bad product of the NaPoWriMo challenge with you all. I mean, I’ve been involved in it for the past 3 years, off and on this blog. Unfortunately, I came across a few too many obstacles in no specific order:

  1. I started traveling at the beginning of the month to visit with family and friends–some of whom I had not seen in over two years. So the voyage was necessary, but also wore me out. Especially after factoring in the time I spent actually travelling from place to place throughout SC. And obligatory as it was, my routine has been completely thrown off–and even a week after returning to the farm I am still struggling to hit my stride again.
  2. I’ve also spent the past several weeks searching for a teaching job. This has required a lot of research, and (because I’m me) a lot of OCD spreadsheet-making before I was even ready to begin actually applying/sending out resumes and honing cover letters for specific schools. I’m actually still waiting to begin on the last part, due to procrastination, fear of rejection and a general sense of doubt now that I’m in the thick of it.
  3. Whether it’s because of the job anxiety, or the traveling/major extroversion, or loss of routine, I’ve found myself floating above the abyss that I call depression. I’ve dipped into it momentarily a few times in the past month, but so far, each day I get up and try again. Obviously, I don’t want to abandon myself to it, and I also really don’t have time for it–but the struggle definitely leaves me exhausted and lacking in major focus. Focus, which I need for job applications as much as for writing. And, honestly, I hoped that the writing exercise could jump start the job exercise–since, if I do get a job, most of my creativity will be geared towards teaching instead of my own personal explorations, simply because of time constraints, for the next couple of years.
  4. For the first ten days or so of NaPoWriMo I also didn’t find myself that inspired by the prompts. Perhaps because I was anticipating more form prompts instead of these abstract/idea prompts. Or maybe because the “Curse of the Thesis” still has a hold on me and I’m still trying to move on from that project but haven’t gathered enough space yet to generate enough creativity. Or I have sapped my reserves in trying to craft a various amount of gifts for the people I went to visit (they all received belated christmas/birthday/housewarming/marriage/baby gifts). However, as I’ve gone through the past few days and their prompts, and as I try to resume my walks to regulate my routine and my cognitive function, I’ve seen some options that have sparked an idea, and have had time to think about a prompt and begin to develop something in my mind. So we’ll see if anything can come from it, with only 10 days left of the challenge.

So, that’s some of what’s going on in my headspace and why I have not been able to fulfill my promise to myself and to you, those who do read and enjoy what I put forth. There was actually a previous version of this post, and chances are it was either whinier or at the very least had a less logical voice–having written it last night at 1am, after losing an entire questionnaire I had typed up for a job due to an app crash on my iPad. And then losing a completed blog post after another app crashed on my Ipad. Suffice it to say, I gave up and went to bed to try again today on a more reliable source. And while, today I’m not where I want to be, I am a little bit closer, and I know tomorrow, I’ll be another step ahead. So I hope something creative will come from that, as much as something productive in regards to my other duties at present.

 

Hoping that if you are struggling through something that it gets resolved soon, or that the struggle becomes easier to manage with each day.

 

Cheers, 

Erin

 

 

Give Me Strength

Just wanted to write a little aside about how I have had this blog for 3 years with a total of 120 posts. I think the majority of those posts have been within the past five months, but who’s to say.

 

And also ask those in the internetverse to throw some creative juices and focus and strength my way. I have 10 pages of draft to write up by Monday and after that probably another 50 or so to punch out by August. It is my continued hope that the weekly 100s and the constant reading that I have been doing of late will aid towards these goals, but any support in words or caffeine is appreciated 🙂 I’ll be kind in returning!

 

As always,

Erin

May Updates

For anyone who follows this blog, you will notice I sort of tapered off after day 22 of the PAD. For that I apologise. I actually did write poems for most of the days between 23 and 30, but I also got a little burned out and lost my motivation for the writing. I think that is probably the drawback of a month long challenge. Especially knowing that I wanted to do the May challenge as well. Originally, I thought April would be my warm up for some (hopefully) beneficial May writing towards my thesis. Well, I’m 6 days in and I haven’t physically or electronically written anything–which I think could have been implied by the burn out. That doesn’t mean my mind hasn’t been thinking, and writing. It’s weak flickers so far, but hopefully I’ll be fanning the fire soon and back in full swing. 

In the meantime, I had a fun month of travelling, experiencing and seeing all sorts of things, and of course dealing with your run of the mill anxiety and break down. No worries though, I’m pushing through to the next bright morning (look at me with all of these metaphors). Step one was writing this post for the couple of you who are sticking with me through these silly, sometimes profound writing moments and all of the inbetweens.

The second step is uploading the poems I wrote for the missing days in April over the next couple of days. I’m missing in all 5 days from the 30 day challenge, and I feel like that is pretty exceptional and I can’t be mad at myself for it.  

The third step is to try getting on paper a few of the May prompts and hopefully uploading some samples or maybe thoughts about those prompts as the weeks go on. I will still be posting my weekly 100 words, so keep an eye out for this week’s “Leaving” story. 

In the meantime, I hope everyone is doing fabulous, and if you are having trouble, just keep looking for the small happy moments–It’s those that get me through the day! Or just laughing at the ill-luck, because most of it is pretty ridiculous and inevitable. 

Until next post!

Erin

  

PAD 19 — Landay

NaPoWrimo’s PAD 18, was a poem about an urgent journey. Because inspiration refused to strike, and there are 11 days left of the challenge, I allowed myself a freebie and moved on to today. PAD 19 is to write a landay or a 22 syllable rhyming couplet. I wanted to just work on two stand alone lines as opposed to a long drawn out poem, so this is where we ended up:

“Uncertain”

She never knew quite what to believe when a

man looked at her sweetly and asked her to stay.

A Snippet

Abstract Metaphor

Flaking snakeskin bark, she climbs the pines and forgets her age. If she can make it to the top, where the trunk bows with each small breeze, she will never have to go back. If she can grip pine cones in her palm and not grimace; if the cone snaps from the tree, she will have won strength. If she can still feel the caress and stab of the needles through bark-worn skin, she will know humility. She climbs branches without pause, eager for a treeline she knows she can never safely achieve. But still she climbs, anticipating the lurch. 

PAD 4 — Loveless Poem

Day four of NAPOWRIMO’s Poetry a day is to write a loveless poem. I think I wrote one of these a couple of years ago, but here’s another! It is actually pretty rough, but the goal for me is to write and to more or less show some accountability. But I won’t deny that  the prompt didn’t inspire some truth. 

“To Like, To Love”

Once you are conscious of a feeling,

you are doomed.

You are forced to sit there in your knowing.

Your organs stretch and pull, expanding with the emotion

ripping you out from the inside.

You fall apart–discomfort is now your norm.

Get used to it.

That phantom ache that isn’t quite in your bones

not quite in your muscles,

but all over.

You didn’t think you could feel that way again

But there it is.

This jerk comes along and reminds you

and it scares the shit out of you,

completely forgetting how to act.

You know that pain will follow this growing.

Like when the universe can expand no longer.

In a word, catastrophe.

Once, you thought some things were worth such pain.

Now you aren’t so sure and you are praying that he is–

That he can see the future and knows knows.

This will work, 

your body can be torn apart and all the while you will survive.

Trust 

My thoughts and feelings are all scrambled. Every time I feel like a spark of my writing creativity has returned it is jeopardized by emotions that fly and tangle in my hair. The trust I have in others for some reason, this year, are connected to my writing, to my own faith in what I have to say. Because I keep losing one, I fail at the other. Even now I do not trust that my words are coming through to the other side, even now I cannot know what is in store. 

Even now I am afraid and I do not know what for. 

To all of the Brandon’s out there (a multi-haiku)

You are the one who
let me go—broke your promises
couldn’t be a man.

Don’t expect me to
open my arms to you
after all the silence.

——————————————

 

I know haikus are generally nature poems, but I’m kind of in a minimalist/haiku state of mind lately, and it’s April–Poetry month. Actually, it almost seems fitting that I write these here, as a reflection or contrast to last years love-related poems.

 

How things change, or rather, how they don’t.