Poetry Club Talks…Margaret Atwood Part 3

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-v9aqy-fc959f

Topic: Margaret Atwood’s “Dearly”
Host: Betty
Poems: “Dearly”, “Betrayal”, “Oh Children”, “Emptiness”
Recorded: February 27, 2021

Atwood Four Poems

Poetry Club discusses four more poems of the newly released collection “Dearly” in Part 3 of Poetry Club Talks…Margaret Atwood.

We acknowledge the returning pattern to environmental questions that demand answers, the silence in between the molecules, and enjoy the way she examines love relationships.  Poetry Club has enjoyed discussing this poet’s new work.  We appreciate the sounds, stories, and images Atwood brings to the page.  Pick up a copy today.

BIO

“Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC OOnt CH FRSC (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. Since 1961, she has published 18 books of poetry, 18 novels, 11 books of non-fiction, nine collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and two graphic novels, as well as a number of small press editions of both poetry and fiction. Atwood has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, including the Booker Prize (twice), Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General’s Award, Franz Kafka Prize, Princess of Asturias Awards, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards.[2] A number of her works have been adapted for film and television.” -Wikipedia

Please visit her site to purchase “Dearly” http://margaretatwood.ca/
All poems are copyright and owned by Margaret Atwood
sited: Atwood, Margaret. Dearly. McClelland & Stewart, 2020.

Drafts and Thoughts

Mary Oliver writes in her poem “Angels”,

“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

that’s a lot of LOVE! Photo credit: https://www.skyimagelab.com/

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

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Memes of my feels today. Thank you for your visit.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Keep writing. -Shannon

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Day 35: Whats Bad for the Hive, is Bad for the Bee

Shower Thoughts: An “unlimited minutes per month” phone plan really only gives you 44,640 minutes per month at best.

What are some changes to your daily routine since lockdown?  Are there additions to your diet?  Perhaps you stopped doing something or perhaps started buying some new items?
I am eating more immune-building foods.  Adding fermented and spicy foods to my diets, such as drinking Kombucha and adding chili peppers, garlic or hot sauce to dishes (but not my oatmeal).  Also, I stopped shaving my legs.  Yep.  I went right from no-shave winter into no-shave lockdown.  If I shaved right now I could donate my hair to a wig charity.  No lie.  Werewolf time = freedom.

Before the lockdown, way back in October last year, I joined a monthly Stoic discussion group.  The group is hosted by a gentleman who applies stoicism to his daily life to help process his epilepsy.  Absolutely stimulating and thought-provoking discussions!  I really enjoy learning about the ways to apply stoicism to my everyday.  So, to help keep my mind focused on this new way of thinking, I signed up for a newsletter dailystoic.comThe message this morning jumped off the page!  The author is responding to Christians in the bible belt continuing to attend church because “the blood of Jesus will protect me.”  Allow me to share a portion of it with you:

A Stoic is rational enough to look at the numbers and realize that most of us are likely to survive the coronavirus, if we do in fact get it. Most cases are very mild. If you’re a healthy, relatively young person, chances are you’re going to be fine. Who knows, maybe believing in Jesus will insulate you further. But that’s not why we’re locked down, why we’ve inflicted trillions of dollars of losses to the global economy in an effort to “flatten the curve.” We’re doing these things to protect the most vulnerable amongst us—people for whom the mortality rate can be up to ten times higher. It’s to protect people with preexisting conditions, people battling cancer, people who are recovering from a lung transplant, people with only one kidney, and our elders from whom we would be remiss not to take this opportunity to learn from.

Remember what Marcus Aurelius said: What’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee. A society that is callous and indifferent to the weak and the vulnerable destroys itself. A society that betrays its elders—even if those elders have been indifferent and callous themselves—betrays itself. *

Here is my Monday mood in meme form.  It doesn’t have a pun, but does it REALY need one?  Thank you for visiting.  Stay safe! -Shannon

 


reference:

dailystoic.com for 4/27/2020.  Read the complete article here-

Daily Stoic

Poem: Why I Can’t Have Good Things

Why I Can’t Have Good Things

By Shannon P. Laws

I overwatered my plant yesterday
The liquid flooded over my fail proof double-layered system
a concave plastic trivet atop a faded Christmas cookie plate
adopted decades ago at a bake sale from a forgotten charity

It was hot all this week and the dirt gave up its moisture
even in the darkest places
In my hurry to do good, I underestimated the effect
a deluge of water has on exhausted soil

I forgot all those moments that life tried
to teach me to go easy
Perhaps my lips remembered the effect
of a much-needed kiss the way a kiss
moves its way around down to the very tips of me
—and I let it pour
I let it pour and sit
and now warped wood wiggles
in protest over the zeal of a kiss

 

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Event: You Love Me, You Love Me Not

You’re invited…

Flyer by SPL (my inner child) Please print, color me and share

Save the Date!

This event is an early 5:00 p.m. set designed for you and your sweetie to enjoy a special day together, a passionate spark to get things started.  Also, a great time for anyone who is a fan of love and wants to support the Alt Library and local artist.  (I think we’re talkin’ about YOU)  You’ll hear from poets Eric Kosarot and James Bertolino.  The featured poet is Shannon P. Laws who will be reading select love poems accompanied by Greg Sherman on upright bass.  This is also the first Bellingham reading from her new book “Fallen”, 2017.

Come early Kathy McKeever, Urban Cauldron, will be available to read your LOVE tarot 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Kathy is a professional, long time tarot reader and teacher of tarot.  She is an expert in the art of divination.

Tickets are suggested $5 or donation, tips encouraged for tarot reader
Books by authors will be on hand for purchase

James Bertolino’s poetry has received recognition through a Book-of-the-Month Club Poetry Fellowship, the Discovery Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Quarterly Review of Literature book publication awards, and the Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Prize for Washington State Poets. He has had 12 volumes of poetry published, the most recent being Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems, 2014, from MoonPath Press.  http://www.jamesbertolino.com/

 

Tongue in Ink

by Shannon P. Laws

The best poems are not written in ink but by the tongue
Spoken into the air never finding paper
Touched by the mist of breath against your neck
Said in the dark rooms where lovers meet
 
Not at all recorded nor syllables numbered
But art form just the same
Once activated and released the words are all lost
Left to moments that linger
Holding each other in sweaty embrace
As if the sheets themselves are sentences
  

Poem: Transmission

Recycled spring mattress used to train a vine. Old springs have many reuses in the garden and home.

 

Transmission

by Shannon Laws

 

Deep transmissions travel into the springs

thumbs at the bass wires as you whisper low

Pluck those strings beneath us pulled tight

I’ll listen with my skin

as it vibrates across my back

bounces around the bones of me

Sing to me all night

Thailand Rug/Sea Feast 2017

You’re invited to…

Sea Feast 2017
September 22-23rd in Bellingham, WA

I’ve signed up to FisherPoet the heck out of Sea Feast again! Here is a shanty poem I’m working on for the event.

 

Thailand Rug

by Shannon Laws

Take off your dungaree jacket
come and sit by the high fire
warm yourself for brisket
dry ‘yer socks for tomorra’

You are a sailor not a farm to toil
around the globe you float on your mistress sea
let salt water then heal your gashes
You’ll only get good soil from me

My blood is full of vinegar
shake it on top ‘yer cod
fork a big bite for your mouth to light
then perhaps you’ll meet your god

Truly the Lord lives in the fish,
fillet batter and flake-white
Rest your head on my bosom port
Tie a tail to your colorful kite

Let’s rip the sheets up tonight, love
then move onto the floor
to cut up the Thailand rug, dear
that’s really from Singapore

Oh rest your head on top my bosom port
tie your boat to my nested lap
tell those sweeties on faraway shores
you’re in love, dear, and won’t be back

 

Harunobu, Suzuki (c.1725-1770) detail, “Fisherman Making Love to a Partly Clothed Girl on His Boat” Woodblock, Japan

Poem: The Back of My Hand

 

The Back of My Hand

By Shannon P. Laws

It was that time of
the day when the light
gave away the distance
of each hill

The twilight swarm of gnats
and wishing cottonwood seeds
bounce off the windshield
in a rush to live and die

The dark sun wanting to set
took a rest over the last ridge

It was that place on
the highway where lines

solid white
double yellow
solid white

bend in unison to
show off its curves
like a lady in a corset

It was that time, that place
when you wiggled in your seat
turned a shoulder forward
looked at me and said

I love you. You know I love you, right?

Your hand hugged mine
as we came to that point
in the pass where the
road is visible for miles

I saw it worming down around
ending with a sharp left
I knew it continued into
the Skagit Valley, pass a cafe

I knew we’d find the freeway
and reach our street by ten tonight
We’d both go to work in the morning
and the week would continue

into more weeks, months and years…
and when you said
you loved me
it was a lie

 

 

Poem: the many layers of my lover

space kiss 40bdc8b4ec3

the many layers of my lover

by Shannon Laws

coat
vest
shirt
undershirt
slacks
skin
heart and soul
bones hold the universe
rich dark pother pour out the eyes

shine on my planets
bring warmth to those hidden seeds
grow a budding forest
my river returns your pull
drink from the ocean
the home of all water

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