Thursday, April 27, 2017

Remember Poem in your Pocket Day #NPM17 #pocketpoem #phenology

The birdbath is ice-covered again this morning. Reports about Lake Superior mention ten foot waves. Snow showers burst forth around the Twin Cities region. What had been shaping up as a nice transition from Winter to Spring has deteriorated into a volatile battle with ground being won and lost daily. Late April and late March are squabbling over whose turn it is. Meanwhile, the 27th day of National Poetry Month is also Poem in your Pocket Day. The idea is simple. Select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, and workplaces. There's a guide, if some help would encourage you to play. If not, like Mother Nature, we can try what's worked before and hope for the best. Last year, about this time, the bush pictured below was blooming in the same place it started blooming a couple of days ago.

'tis the season for blooming, and snow showers
'tis the season for blooming, and snow showers
Photo by J. Harrington

In terms of something else that has worked before, I'm delighted to see, among the lists of downloadable poems for today's pocket poem, is one of my all time favorites, Remember by Joy Harjo. Over the years, we've featured it four times here at My Minnesota, most recently on April 6. If we hadn't, it would be our pocket poem today. As it stands, we'll choose another, one no on the Academy's list for this year, one that might end up slightly worn or crumpled if we leave it in our pocket too long. Instead, we have to remember to take it out, share it and say

This is a Wonderful Poem

Come at it carefully, don’t trust it, that isn’t its right name,
It’s wearing stolen rags, it’s never been washed, its breath
Would look moss-green if it were really breathing,
It won’t get out of the way, it stares at you
Out of eyes burnt gray as the sidewalk,
Its skin is overcast with colorless dirt,
It has no distinguishing marks, no I.D. cards,
It wants something of yours but hasn’t decided
Whether to ask for it or just take it,
There are no policemen, no friendly neighbors,
No peacekeeping busybodies to yell for, only this
Thing standing between you and the place you were headed,
You have about thirty seconds to get past it, around it,
Or simply to back away and try to forget it,
It won’t take no for an answer: try hitting it first
And you’ll learn what’s trembling in its torn pocket.
Now, what do you want to do about it?

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