This past session, we focused on writing using a form, originally created by Terrance Hayes as a way to honor Gwendolyn Brooks but now morphed into honoring any poet/poem. Here is the “Golden Shovel” approach to writing poems:
Select a line(s) from a poem you like. Use each word in the selected line(s) as the end word for each line of your poem. Keep them in order. Your poem doesn’t have to be about the same subject. Give credit to the poet who wrote the original line(s).
To the reader of the new poem (below), you might also like to read the end words, alone, and find the original lines from (in this case) Dickinson there.
Don based his “Golden Shovel” poem on the first two lines of
Emily Dickinson’s “Love reckons by itself — alone.”
Love reckons by itself — alone —
“As large as I” — relate the Sun
To One who never felt it blaze —
itself is all the like it has —
by W. Donald Wheeler
All we need is love
the songster-poet reckons.
Maybe so, but hard to come by.
Perhaps it’s not love itself
but the ability to love — alone —
that lets us feel fulfilled as
much as we’re able. In large
measure, loving is as hard as
accepting love — well — I
find. Can you relate?
More likely, one is the
Moon, the other the Sun.
by Nessa McCasey
Storms become personal
when they flood your home.
When it happens to you
the name of Harvey becomes
a nasty man rather than a storm.
He is a mean uncle or a corrupt
politician; a robber or a disaster;
a transformative social change
or something to ignore.
On Monday evening, August 28, the Spiritual Expressions group met and we wrote from a poem by Dermot Healy called Storms. I hope that Harvey will indeed offer gifts in disguise…
by Mary Raab
The storms that wreck you
are gifts in disguise
like a Picasso painting
jagged, mis-shapen edges
to make something new
(Mary wrote this her very first time in the group!! Well done!!)
by Donald Wheeler
Speaking with respect.
Touching with restraint.
Listening with thoughtfulness.
Answering with kindness.
Helping without condescension.
Loving the soul of the reprobate.
Appreciating the humanity of the fool.
These humble things would make the world a better place.
When immigrants are welcomed home.
When strangers are greeted with respect.
When a medley of skin and words, of dress and hair
is valued as the pot of gold at rainbow’s end.
When exclusion is at last excluded from our thinking.
When the value of a lesson matters more than its source.
When our search for truth ignores political bounds and
all other preconceptions.
Then will we be on our way to proving mankind can survive.
written during April 2017.