Goodbye to Poetry Month, Hello to a More Poetic Life From Now On

Now that April and National Poetry Month are over, I wanted to use this post to finish my mini “poetry series,” then I’ll move forward again with my usual content.

I hope anyone who has read these posts, and poems, has enjoyed this brief introduction to poetry, and will continue to remember to seek out and enjoy a poem now and then as part of your life.

I’m going to share two of my poems in this post, then briefly explain both how the poem came about, and how a wider application might be made, even in the business world.

But first, a bit of unfinished business. In my last post I shared poems by one of the poets quoted in the article I included. So today I’m showcasing the other poet, Leona Guidace. She published a book-length poem, drawing heavily (pun intended) on her background in visual arts to make the work visually and emotionally rich and complement her words.

Since the poem is a bit hard to excerpt, and the images are so important, I’m just putting in a link to a sample here. It’s written under another name, so don’t worry, you’re in the right place. And just keep clicking on the page to get to the next one.

I found this exciting and creative. I love it when different disciplines are brought together to complement each other, just like when certain opposite words are juxtaposed, as this sample aptly demonstrates. Enjoy.

http://www.blurb.com/books/7712841-words-to-code-words-to-keep

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Now, whether you find this treat or torture, here are two poems I have written.

Part of having the mind of a poet means observing, noticing, and reflecting on things more deeply, and applying them in our lives and work, artistic or otherwise. I try to make these connections in this blog, hoping to help my readers see how they can develop their poet’s eye and use the insights and new perspective they gain to enrich their life, their work, and even their approach to the business world.

This first poem takes a humorous look at an everyday kind of encounter, and also tries to see things from the perspective of the other “person.”

Ode to The Spider

I have the advantage

in size,

in right of occupancy,

in ability to wield a broom.

———————————–

Still, on your side,

you have speed

and the element of surprise,

not to mention being ugly

enough to haunt my dreams.

————————————-

I think the terror we inspire

in each other is equal

though I, unless your bite

is poisonous, am less likely

to die from our encounter.

Yet I usually view

each of your kind

with the same level of dread.

————————————–

You startle me, suddenly

rushing across the wall

above my kitchen sink.

I scream – (how maddeningly

female of me) – and run

into the other room

to gather my wits

and find a weapon.

—————————————-

This gives you warning

and sufficient time

to run into some room

of your own, some crack

or corner I can’t see.

————————————

Perhaps you also scream,

inaudibly to me

but loud enough in your world

to make you wonder

if the neighbors heard.

——————————-

I wonder if your nerves

are as raw as mine

for the rest of the night,

if you tell your friends

about me later when you talk

on your tiny telephone,

or if you can’t bear

to even think about me,

you still shiver so

at the mere idea

of seeing me again.

———————————

You hope I’ll stay

away, in another room

the way I hope you’ll escape

out the same opening

you entered through,

go back to your cozy web,

watch a movie to soothe

your mind, carefully avoiding

all horror shows – especially

“Anthrophobia.”

———————————-

You’d rather not bite me,

smiting me with your

theoretical venom,

the way I’d prefer

to avoid squishing you

into oblivion.

——————————-

So really we’re the same,

not meaning any harm,

not out for malice,

content to live

and let each other live

but please, oh so separately,

unfelt, unseen.


I won’t say that after writing this poem I’m much less afraid of spiders, or that I don’t occasionally feel the need to “wield a broom.” But the poem did provide a bit of perspective, as well as comic relief.

And I think such perspective can be applied in other aspects of life, when seeing the other person’s point of view might help to moderate our feelings about the situation.

For example, if you are nervous about interviewing for a job, maybe the interviewer is also nervous, afraid of how his or her choice may affect their prospects of a promotion. Or if you are interviewing an expert for an article, they may be nervous about being interviewed. In both cases, seeking to put the other person at ease can help you as well.

Now this next poem shows how tangible, literal objects, such as fingernails can be meaningful in themselves, but also serve as metaphors for something more.

I wrote this poem after a long time working two part-time jobs — as a geriatric caregiver and a massage therapist. Both jobs were a good fit for me, doing work I loved. But it can also be tiring to spend a lot of time caring for the needs of others, especially as you begin to feel your own age and other health issues.

I had just retired from caregiving, but was still feeling burned out and depleted, and decided to take a short leave of absence from my job as a massage therapist.

One of the requirements of doing that job is to keep my nails very short and well-trimmed, so that I can maximize my effectiveness and minimize the chance of causing the client any discomfort. A small sacrifice, but the luxury of growing them long for a change symbolized the freedom I felt when I was able to focus more on self-care for awhile.

Letting My Nails Grow

It’s my small act of rebellion,

a temporary declaration

of independence, a small

needed freedom.

————————————

They say you must put on

the oxygen mask, take care

of yourself before you can

take care of others well.

————————————–

I’ve grown tired, over the years,

it seems, from taking care of others’

needs, though it’s work I love, or

used to, or want to say I do.

———————————————-

But for these short weeks

of long-needed rest, I let

my nails grow long and lustrous,

making them impractical

for “working with my hands,”

my permission to do,

for this too-brief respite,

closer to only what I want to do.

—————————————–

I tell myself I’ll be ready soon,

I’ll clip and smooth my nails,

ready these hands, steady them,

gain renewed strength, willingly

present them for service once again,

groomed and ready to resume duties.

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