Posted April 28, 2021 in News Articles
This week for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate "A Blessing" by James Wright. We were joined by special guests Troy Bronsink, of The Hive, who led our opening meditation and poet Manuel Iris who led the reading and response.
Connect with Troy Bronsink at The Hive.
(If you'd like to read the full transcript, that can be found here.)
Thank you Amy Hunter from The Mercantile Library for showing us the space and sharing the exciting future of the Cincinnati Poet Laureate Program. You can find out more about the Mercantile Library at their website: https://mercantilelibrary.com/ and connect with Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Response Poems
by Wade Hopkins
It was hidden in plain sight. I guess.
The crows, the squirrels, the myriad birds all sharing their homes with me.
This year in the house. This year of walking hundreds of miles through their homes.
They've grown accustomed to my presence. Not tame, but something else.
Something new and soon gone.
Now the children's voices return, the light dims as old obligation takes hold.
It was many things at once.
It was a blessing.
A meatgrinder is just a pair of jaws you borrow
when you're too old to chew things.
Sitting in the cupboard, hidden in plain sight,
it waited for the moment to shine.
It resolved a domestic dispute between
my love of duck hearts, and my father's condition.
A Kondo-minded person would have eliminated it
a long, long time before the need arose.
Sometimes, clutter is a blessing.
I wonder what treasure might help me
arrange my perfect ending.
Because as useful as a meatgrinder might be -
old age is still an option, not a duty.
Counting paces, tracing circles around a cedar tree.
Thinking about what you were after, if you weren't after me.
Your charm disarmed me - naked, I stood
to be devoured whole.
Instead, you broke off the pieces you liked
and threw me in a hole.
I'm crawling out - away from you -
no matter where, just away.
I wonder how many things I'll break
until I find my way.
It Was And, It Was
by Emily Little
It was cat shit awaiting my footsteps,
And it was I last to arise from slumber.
It was balled-up-wet, striped size six leggings starting to scent in a closet,
And my uncurling, and soaking, and washing in the baptismal water of the laundry machine.
It was the forgetting to sign up for the sanity-providing-poetry-moment-mama-escape,
And getting snuck in the backdoor at the last minute like a VIP at a Martina McBride concert.
It was the new-adult-acne red peppering my cheeks, blemishes of youth still here,
And new rituals born of caressing and loving my own skin.
It was ‘I HATE MATH’ screamed loudly enough for Mary “needs hearing aids” Harper across the street to hear,
And being able to wait for a better moment.
It was a small voice “Mom”, when I had three unmemorable things to do that needed doing but I can’t actually
remember what they were,
And falling asleep during snuggles.
It was garden beds that are as mysterious as the Garden of Eden for me and they are tangling amongst each other and getting messier and messier,
And sheltering a nest.
It was a couch cushion with a black marker smiley face greeting me,
And even when I frowned deeply, it smiled on.
It was a series of stickers shouting “TEACH TOLERANCE” on the toilet, on the stool, on the sink, on the wall, on the mirror,
And a reminder to breathe deeply in the bathroom (but not too deeply).
Hiding in plain sight, blessings.
It was hidden in plain sight
by Deb Daniel
My plants don't talk.
I have tried to teach them to speak...
Instead, they let themselves be sun-burned when I have left them in the sun too long.
Instead, four new leaves sprouted from the two biggest plants.
Instead, they slurp up water when I come to retrieve them.
If the plants could talk and walk, they would join a protest, carrying signs...
Instead they whisper on the winds outside my window.
It was a blessing
Telling the Truth
by Rana Dotson
It was hidden in plain sight
Beneath the exhaustion, thick
peeled-back layers of weary
pressed into the water-ruined floorboards, layers
rubbed into the dirt-smudged ring around
the bathroom light switch
It was hidden
Beneath the droning repetition of endless commutes
every round trip
a prayer for intercession
racing home before nightfall to get a glimpse
of three sets of young eyes
blinking away the darkness, hooding over
with the days’ heaviness
Beneath the varicose voices insisting it’s never enough
neither the mothering nor working
It was hidden
In the makeshift fence falling
behind the hand-me-down half-painted playset
the worn down evidence of a life
well loved, the pressure
applied and released in all
the right places
the disastrous, tattered, unstoppable
blessing that is us
It was all a blessing.
by Joan Penn
Hidden in plain sight, not a material presence,
easily disregarded, an inner voice that speaks to me
when I pause long enough to listen. It invites me
to begin again, suggests I look within, reflect
on what’s buried inside, feel the throbbing
of self-recognition, the who, what, when, why
and where that’s taken up residence there.
Time to reflect on old injuries,
the mistakes, the hurts, the injustices,
the could haves, the should haves,
the unending why didn’t I’s.
Time to exorcise excoriating memories.
Time to set aside a sense of inadequacy.
Time to mend a tattered interior,
reverse the toll time has taken.
On the exterior, a visible history, but
so much is etched below the skin’s surface.
Take a good look in the mirror, reflect on
what’s present, what’s absent. Revisit invisible.
Record it on the page. Then let tears erase it.
Liberate cries and whispers, release shouts
and screams. Create room for redemption.
Heed that inner voice. It offers a blessing.
by Sarah Pinho
It was hidden in plain sight.
As sunlight would lull me gently into awareness
I would awaken smiling
Imagining curls upon a pillow
Anticipating dimples to cradle my lips.
His snoring, which kept us sleeping
in rooms far apart,
made every morning
a joyous reunion.
It was a blessing.