Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CASCADIAN FROG SONG FAREWELL

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It's the last day! April 30, and I've actually pulled it off—I've written a poem every day this month! Not only that, but the majority of them were written right on my blog with minimal editing. There are probably four or five I'll play with some more. 

Learning to trust the practice of writing and putting it out there at all but the same time did not come easily to me. Readers of this blog may remember I do an August postcard poem exchange, and Cascadian poet Paul Nelson, who co-founded this particular iteration of the exchange is also one of the main organizers of the Cascadia Poetry Festival which starts tomorrow night in Seattle! 



Today I'm off to Seattle for the Cascadia Poetry Festival. There I will be surrounded by so many poets I may just explode! I'm borrowing this précis of what it's about from Paul's SPLAB website: "There will be 6 poetry readings, 3 Living Room (free, democratic, open) reading sessions, five morning panels, one workshop and one talk given by an expert on Cascadia and bioregionalism."

And last night I was at the first reading by four Brick Books poets: Joanna Lilley, Karen Enns, Arlene Paré and Jane Munro. These ladies are about to go on tour across Canada. If they come to your city, check them out.  

In the realm of poetry, a lot gets said. As it is the last day of April, and therefore the last day of doing the poem-a-day exercise, I thank everyone who's read bits of my posts here and there and especially those who've taken the time to make comments. 

So, without further ado, today's poem. The prompt is to write a "farewell" poem. Anyone else hearing Seasons in the Sun by the inimitable Terry Jacks? (Hit that link and you'll be hearing it all day!)


In the Scheme of Things ~ Cascadian Frog Song Farewell


Last night a chorus of frog song sang me to sleep.
I knit a sweater of thoughts; knit one — sustainability,

perl one — persistence. Three minutes is all we have. 
Keep breathing. The treadmill of life is a real doozie. 

Silk Road beckons, waits with red tassels in its teeth.
Today we will buy milk and do taxes, for if only one of us

in the world is doing taxes, we all are, and if only one of us
needs milk, we all do. Last night, a frog chorus — 

which one started it, which one was the very first,
how do they know to join in? Do all species love to sing?

And suddenly it's spring! Not just ooh-the-sun-came-out-
for-ten-minutes-this-morning-and-it-was-actually-hot sort of spring

but full-on, all-day spring-shine that brings out new
leaf green on everything — water lilies in the pond,

fronds appearing, bite-sized, up from the ground of fern, 
new growth on fir tips, grass emerald-lush against 

stark of stone. The way things are going 
the frogs are probably chirping a prolonged farewell 

to the planet, the rape of which appears to be 
almost complete. We say goodbye to arms 

but find and more places and ways to kill each other. 
Say we should do something about fossil fuels and water

and over-population while the spectre of Wasteland 
moves gently from possibility to likelihood.

Words are relegated to part of the unremitting babble 
brooked by technology. We give up day-dream time—

the brain's opportunity to file things,
the soul's opportunity to work on empathy

(which may or may not be a natural impulse)—
yet here we are this perfect day; frogs quiet,

pond still, leaves dancing in brindled sunlight,
a god's-in-his-heaven glad-to-be-alive day,

good for reflection and rejoicing,
and for that we are thankful.


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2 comments:

Carla Braidek said...

I am impressed - by your tenacity, your imagination and your enthusiasm. Enjoy the festival in Seattle. I love that a gold pass is only $25.

grieflessons said...

You did it, Linda!!! Congratulations. Nice to have your company on this long haul. I'm going to miss it. Want to go another round? I'll give you your prompts!!