Ron hosts this stimulating discussion seeking the answer of what constitutes a love poem. The group considers three unlikely, not typical love poems by Robert Frost and Linda Pastan. What elements tell the reader they are about love or expressing love?
A flower becomes a telephone with a direct connection to the person you are thinking of. Does a love poem need to be about romantic love? Tone, imagination, the figure of speech, and rich imagery all play a part. Please join us for another tantalizing talk.
Thursday Share Day Writers LOVE words. Can the right words change the nation? Yes. The other day a friend sent this news article over to me, and I’m letting you all in on it. This is not the first time I’ve read about the Bellingham Police using their Crisis Negotiator Team to de-escalate a situation. In an era of bullets being used to de-escalate violence, it’s refreshing to find a place on this planet that really, actually, uses words. Let me know what you think.
“On May 18, 2021 Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) passenger LaKisha A. Bolden, 44, apparently upset the bus on which she was riding was not headed downtown, got sufficiently angry with the bus driver that he needed to make an unscheduled stop. Bolden looked like she was walking off the bus when, completely unprovoked, pulled out a 4-inch knife and attacked another rider, stabbing her four times. After Bellingham Police arrived on scene and de-escalated the situation, Bolden was subsequently arrested, without further incident, for assault in the first degree and booked into the Whatcom County Jail.
Bolden and several other riders were on a WTA bus travelling on Old Fairhaven Parkway, when she realized they were not heading downtown and got angry about that. The driver safely pulled the bus over to let Bolden off. It appeared Bolden was leaving, but instead pulled out a knife and stabbed another rider. The injured rider fought back and was able to get distance from Bolden and flee the bus to safety. The rest of the riders and bus driver also safely made it off the bus. Bolden remained alone on the bus, still armed with the knife.
Bellingham Police (BPD) arrived and established a safety perimeter around the bus and shut down traffic on Old Fairhaven Parkway for the safety of motorists. The bus was disabled to prevent Bolden from being able to create a further crisis and danger to the public by driving it away. While the patrol officers maintained a safe distance, members of the BPD Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT) were called to establish contact with Bolden, engage in conversation to de-escalate the situation and have Bolden surrender.
Shortly after starting the conversation with Bolden, crisis negotiators were able to convince Bolden to step off the bus and surrender peacefully. Bolden was handcuffed and arrested for assault 1st degree and taken to the Whatcom County Jail.
The victim of the stabbing went to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Emergency Department for treatment for non-life-threatening stab wounds to her hand and leg.”
“The whole business of what’s reality and what isn’t has never been solved and probably never will be. So I don’t care to be too definite about anything. I have a lot of edges called Perhaps and almost nothing you can call Certainty.”
Blue Horses: Poems, by Mary Oliver, Penguin Books, 2016.
With that being said, perhaps…
when gods make love, they create nebulas
Below are two poem drafts to share today. I’d love some feedback if you’re up for it. I was in Village Books the other day and saw my book “Fallen” on the shelf. It came out in 2017, four years ago. Hmmmmm… If I were to guess, I think I have one more poetry book in me, possibly by 2022. I hope it is picked up and published traditionally, and I return to the open mic circuit to launch the book properly. My first two books were self-published, “Fallen” was my first traditionally published. Thank you Independent Writers Studio, of Bellingham, WA. Self-publishing has its rewards, but I cannot emphasize enough the power of traveling the area with your book in hand, meeting your readers/followers, in person. I wonder, and am hesitant to declare, that a self-published book not advertised, given away to your family and friends only, is, generally speaking, a waste of paper. The written word has power. Why hide that potential under your bed? Share your work. Try it. You’ll like it.
1/16/21 It is a new year. I write the number and it feels the same as 2020 The new-yearness will not appear until the end of February after a late Northwest snow The old year, the previous skin, will hang on a bit and fog my eyes My hand refused to write a “1” IT IS TIME pun intended to tell me it is time The styles do not change, technology crawls very few items in my home could tell me what decade I’m in if I had the gift to slip about time
If you take a person from 1880 and place them in 1980 The 1980s would appear to be a different world entirely But take a person from 1998 to 2021…not too many changes All the advancements and we simply have smaller, thinner phones Did anyone ask for a smaller phone? We die of cancer, disease, starvation, and war To answer the call, our technicians and scientists developed a Fitbit and placed TV in our pockets to track our racing heartbeats while watching the news
WARM WINTER The leaves scratch the air as the frozen drops of winter tap my window in the middle of the night they want in to take over my home return it back to soil I am sure of it The potted plants by the glass seduce the storm arms beg it to set them free while a drizzle of rooftop runoff piddles down a leaking drain pipe Even a worm comes out to comment on the weather war High and humble worn and cold the snow shovel stands at attention in a dark corner ready to fight
Memes of my feels today. Thank you for your visit. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Keep writing. -Shannon
Ron asks, “Has a single poem ever had such an impact?” Poetry Club takes on this question and more as we share our thoughts & feelings of the Inauguration week, and examine “The Hill We Climb” –What a week it was!
Amanda Gorman was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Harvard University in 2020.
She is the author of the poetry collection The Hill We Climb (Viking, September 2021) and The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough (Penmanship Books, 2015). In 2017 Gorman was named the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. She previously served as the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles, and she is the founder and executive director of One Pen One Page, an organization providing free creative writing programs for underserved youth. (poets dot org)
Gorman was selected by President Biden to read an original poem for his Inauguration on January 20, 2021, making her the youngest poet to have served in this role.