Sunday, June 8, 2008

Old Oak - August 2007

I'm trying something scary and different by posting one of my poems.

There were years in my past when I wrote lots of them, and most are quite mediocre. But when I read through them they serve as a looking glass into my troubled, searching-for-love teen and young adult years. They mirror the firecracker creativity fueled by alcohol in my early days of drinking. Later, they are a gasp of sick ego and longing for wholeness as alcoholism grabbed hold of my life. Finally, from the tender healing of early sobriety, they manifest a sigh...and then they stopped all together. I have speculation but no explanation for this: I wrote a poem for Mike to celebrate our wedding in 1995 and after that no more poetry came. Not until last August when this one did, and none since.

I want to acknowledge Marlys Marshall Styne who delights with her rictameters at Write Your Life!, and for advocating "writing for everyone." How empowering is that?! I ordered her book, Reinventing Myself - Memoirs of a Retired Professor from and it arrived this weekend. I'm anxious to read it after seeing the table of contents.

I'm not going to over-think these poems of mine, for which poetry review have a different meaning. On a personal level they really are a review of key stages of my life, mostly brazen vestiges of a careless past. Not the easiest things for me to review, let's say. Depending upon how this particular foray into sharing the most recent one goes, I might select more of those old poems to post. Or not.

Old Oak - August 2007

You sprawling giant

gave up one bough near

targets too precious and sealed your fate there

on the hill beside a middle school parking lot

that borders the soccer field where once stood

the acorn-bearing community you grew with 300 years ago.

The twisted limb you let loose after a gentle summer rain was greater than

trunks of the 100-year-old oaks growing on either side of the second soccer lawn

a block from the chipping machine that now sings with your branches.

It was an impressive, heavy bough full of green life

but your wound showed weakness inside despite the

smooth, tight-grained beauty of

these delicious-smelling logs

that must be

cleared quickly

before a new year of

history lessons take root.

(c) M Lydia M, 2007


Wayfaring Wanderer said...

It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there......thanks for sharing :)

sharryb said...

Hi Lydia,
Nice to see some of your poetry. As a former school teacher the images brought back memories of all kinds. We had some beautiful oaks that were cut to make way for our new building.

Stop by and see my new blog list - you are one of the featured blogs.


timethief said...

Absolutely wonderful imagery. I loved it. &hearts

Lydia said...

WW - and thanks for the support!

I didn't know you had been a teacher but it isn't a surprise, given the soulful instruction you offer in so many ways now. Wow - I checked out your new list that adds a whole new dimension to your blog, and am SO honored to be one of those featured in that fun way! Thank you (and if I could create a little heart like timethief did in comments, I would send one your way!)

your compliments means a lot to me, and I love the little heart you sent in your comment! (heart back)

francessa said...

Thanks for sharing, Lydia!

A quote comes to mind, from long ago, by Robert Frost:

Poetry starts as a lump in the throat ..

Lydia said...

Oh, I like that one, Francessa.

seniorwriter said...

Hello, Lydia. Thanks for mentioning my rictameters, and for reminding me to take a look at your blog. I do visit it quite often. I think your poem is wonderful! Keep sharing, and write some new ones too.


Lydia said...

ok, I'll post some more. No promises on writing new ones, but I will certainly try with your encouragement. Having a compliment from you really made my day.
(I will start reading your book as soon as I finish Reading Lolita in Tehran. Soon.) :) Lydia

Honour said...

Lydia, this was lovely. i'm so glad you posted it. "tight-grained beauty" really rings nicely... and yes it is scary to post poems, but good for you :) one of my friends encouraged me in poetry, and i'm so glad he did. It makes me laugh to think of others in blogland calling me a poet, when my poetry until this year, was written in a closed book, hidden under my other books, should anyone else find them! Can I suggest another book, "The Right to Write" ... it's very empowering as well. p.s. check my blogroll and click on "Zenspace". Bobbb recently wrote a lovely poem about trees to that I think you would like.

Lydia said...

I loved Bobbb's poem about trees! Thank you for directing me there. I wrote the title of the book and will put it on my list. I find it hard to believe that until recently you hid your poems from us!
:) Lydia

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

This is wonderful Lydia
There is love here
Love that you can feel

I don’t know what to say about poetry review…
Before long you have poetry analysis…
Discussion groups…

I’ll tell you a secret

I once spoke
To a room of
Self proclaimed poets
At one of those…

Open mic poetry night things

Along with the other things
I had said
To have them glaring at me
With such

I asked them the following question:

If a person stands here
And speaks
For 20 minutes
In the damn room
A single thing
He is saying

HAS he really said
ANYTHING at all?

Lydia said...

It means a lot to me that you found love in my poem.
I've never done the open mic thing, very scary. As to your question: I think he has said a lot - but to an empty room!
Take care,



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