Minnesota also offers several writers' groups that share information on reading and local writing contests and publications. The Jackpine Writers' Bloc publishes an annual literary journal, Talking Stick, and shares email announcements about other readings and meetings, etc. I have enjoyed the experience of an audience's reaction to my poems each time I've read. Remember, the poet starts the poem, but the reader, or listener, finishes it.
Yesterday I noticed several more signs of Spring starting as the snow melted. Day lilies have emerged. One of the rose bushes has leaf buds bursting. Leaf out is occurring on other bushes and the forsythia's stems are greening up. If anyone can suggest the identity of the leafed out stems that are in the picture, I'd appreciate it. Clouds are forecast for much of the rest of the week and into the weekend. I'm getting tempted to modify some of the lyrics of Joni Mitchell's wonderful Both Sides Now: I've looked at clouds from both sides now, from wet and dry but still somehow, it's clouds' conclusion I do call, I've had enough of clouds for now.
|day lilies emerging, unidentified leafed-out stems in background|
Photo by J. Harrington
|close-up of unidentified leaves|
Photo by J. Harrington
Reading an Anthology of Chinese Poems of the Sung Dynasty, I pause to Admire the Length and Clarity of their Titles
It seems these poets have nothingup their ample sleevesthey turn over so many cards so early,telling us before the first linewhether it is wet or dry,night or day, the season the man is standing in,even how much he has had to drink.Maybe it is autumn and he is looking at a sparrow.Maybe it is snowing on a town with a beautiful name."Viewing Peonies at the Temple of Good Fortuneon a Cloudy Afternoon" is one of Sun Tung Po's."Dipping Water from the River and Simmering Tea"is another one, or just"On a Boat, Awake at Night."And Lu Yu takes the simple rice cake with"In a Boat on a Summer EveningI Heard the Cry of a Waterbird.It Was Very Sad and Seemed To Be SayingMy Woman Is Cruel—Moved, I Wrote This Poem."There is no iron turnstile to push against hereas with headings like "Vortex on a String,""The Horn of Neurosis," or whatever.No confusingly inscribed welcome mat to puzzle over.Instead, "I Walk Out on a Summer Morningto the Sound of Birds and a Waterfall"is a beaded curtain brushing over my shoulders.And "Ten Days of Spring Rain Have Kept Me Indoors"is a servant who shows me into the roomwhere a poet with a thin beardis sitting on a mat with a jug of winewhispering something about clouds and cold wind,about sickness and the loss of friends.How easy he has made it for me to enter here,to sit down in a corner,cross my legs like his, and listen.
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