24 January 2014

A Kindess Poem to Start Your Weekend

One of the techniques I want to use for circumabulating this idea of kindness is writing poems. I teach creative writing workshops and so have a storehouse of "techniques" for helping the conscious mind jump past the obvious. One of those is magnetic poetry--a technique that often helps me find relationships and ideas that would never occur to me using a more linear writing approach.

I've collected A LOT of word magnets through the years, and I keep them organized in muffin tins by initial letters. Often as a warm-up exercise in my own, personal writing time, I choose a letter to start with, scoop out a handful of words and search through the pile for words that strike me. This gives me the advantage of alliteration up front, and I build my poem around it.

With this series on kindness, I want to go through the alphabet eventually (though Q and V may give me problems when I get there!), so today I pulled out words beginning with A. Here's what I came up with:

At Peniel
Jacob Wrestling the Angel of God
by Jacob Baumgartner
by Susan Lawson

Dark angel or animal?
Kindness, like all things, is always both.

Ask ask ask and the answer
always comes back ache.

Picture a wing limp from struggle.
Feel the shoulder dis-

locate, the hope for flight
flee. Hear weary I am

so weary
as the only prayer.

Only when all fight is gone
will the animal dare draw near.

Almost it whispers
Almost another, almost a way.

Fog settling into frost
makes a restless bed yet

a whole race depends on
a dream of two brothers.

See one limp toward the other.
See the other receive him.

Dark angel or animal?
Which is whom?

Kindness like all things
is always both.

Something to ponder over the weekend...Happy Friday!