Auld Lang Syne

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Glass of old wine, Stroh Rhum and writing

I've just had the Maineuh's Breakfast of Champions: blueberry pancakes and Moxie.  I've written the poem of the day (60 in 60 days so far and onward!). At this point, you must be asking: what can possibly be the QUALITY of these poems, written daily? How much time, attention to detail, and hard work could possibly be produced in volume like this?

My answer is simple:

1. I am not settling for low poems or striving for high. I am working a discipline.
2. I go for finding one phrase or (if I'm lucky), one line that pleases my palate as a poet.
3. I am exercising my poet's muscle.

This morning's poem is a premonition or warning. I took on the task with a memory from sailing on the Heritage, the Great Windship Heritage out of Rockland, Maine. I added in a memory from childhood when I heard all my fishermen friends repeat the superstitious ditty found below the poem. I also fed off the image of weather as animal (clouds bucking) and got into a rhythm of 9,10, 10, 9 for the stanzas' meter. Meter is a metronome in my head — one that, to be sure, I check as I write/revise.

I'm also thinking of a song by Neil Diamond that has been playing in my head all morning: If You Know What I Mean.  

Took a drag of my last cigarette, took a drink from a glass of old wine.

On my desk is the remains of my Moxie, laced with Stroh Rhum (you can only get it IN Austria) and the remains of last night's wine. I took a picture of the two glasses. My rum and moxie is in a RED SOX glass, my wine in a glass that says, live your life. I am truly in love with the irony of the life of a poet.

So here I am, in my garrett, (translated: my office) while the snow lies all about in drifts so beautifully pure and soft. I am warm with a  fluffy purple blanket around my shoulders. I feel satisfied. My hubby and grandsons are downstairs gearing up for the day's football games. They are being manly and I am being "me-ly." Life is great. 2012 is winding down like a dysfunctional clock. I look forward to what's next. January is my birthday month (yes, I celebrate all month) and I am rushing to meet it with poems in both fists. I will complete the Wilbur manuscript this year (hopefully by May) and will surprise myself with whatever's next.

So a sip of Moxie Stroh to all of you who are wondering where the next poem is, whether you will be up to writing it, and if it will be good enough. I say it will be right where you last thought of an interesting word; it's waiting for you to pick it up, stretch it and write it on a page. It will be good enough because you encountered it and welcomed it. Go find it. Pick up the pen.

Happy New Year!


The Day 30 (December) Poem:

Day 30 Write about a premonition or warning

Red Sky at Morning*

Clouds bucking the surface of the sea
buckling its skin, taking on water,
evaporating hopes of mariners
heading for home after their big haul.

In the eastern sky, daybreak flares out
with its warning: bad storm’s a-coming lads,
bad storm’s a-coming and you’d best get home
where the fire’s laid and the mugs warmed up.

Steady eye, unsteady wake and all
hands on deck for the run to the harbor,
the hold teeming with early morning catch;
what a day’s pay we’ll fetch from this lads

if we can git this girl t’home, git 
this girl t’home. Else we’ll go down singin’
meet th’others at the bottom o’ the sea.
So haul away, Joe and Tim and Mike.

Clouds bucking the surface of the cold sea.
Sky’s warning disasters yet to be told.
Bad storm’s a-comin’ lads, better head home.
Bad storm’s a-comin’, lads, she’s a-comin’

*from an old sailors’ verse of superstition:

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; 
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning