Yesterday Jasmin, my niece, popped over with this book. It's called Wreck this Journal and has been described as the anarchist's Artist's Way. It's a book that encourages freedom of artistic expression. I thought it was particularly apt that Jasmin, who is 13 years old, quoted the T Rex's song title Children of the Revolution.
Every day during November I am taking up the challenge to write a poem a day. April is National Poetry Month in the United States and a popular worldwide challenge arising from this has been to write a poem a day. A small group of us on Facebook have taken up this challenge for all the months of the year with 30 days in them ie April, June, September and November. I have to confess that after April's marathon writing activity I was pretty exhausted and did not take part in either June or September.
Like any daily practice it's very educational. Some times a poem arrives and sits in your lap, or writes itself in to being on your laptop and other days it's a hard to struggle to get out even a few words that don't sound cliched or forced. The trick is to write through it and, whilst engaging fully with the writing, observe the arc of one's own emotional narrative.
I will be posting some of my first drafts here along with the prompts (which we take turns in posting in our group) that inspired them. Today's poetry prompt is from writer Karen McCarthy Woolf. It's posted on her site Open Notebooks. Today's poem is a freewrite which means that it has not been edited and was written in one sitting without stopping. I am hoping to bring some of the energy and enthusiasm Jasmin has for her 'Wreck this Journal' project to my own poem a day writing adventure.
Wherever the Sun
Nothing much happens here anymore. Nothing that we notice anyway. It's not bad in the way it was. That's when the cries of a woman being dragged by her hair were common place or the boots, always the boots. Marching, kicking down doors. The anonymous boots kicking faces, kicking at our art and our statues. We still carry the kicking inside us. Perhaps that's why it is so silent now. The shops are fuller, fatter than they were. On Tuesdays we buy eggs and eat omelettes together. On Sundays we cook chicken and the vegetables we grow in the big square in the centre of town. In the bad days, the worst days of our lives there were public hangings. So now we grow vegetables. Potatoes and carrots, tomatoes when it's hot enough. Wherever we seek out the sun there's a seed to be planted. Those old bullets have knotted my heart and I know sleeping is not easy for those who cannot forget. We garden and weep and walk barefoot in honour of all those we have lost, our toes darkened with wet mud and memories written in blood.