What sort of sky

The clouds glance down and move off in great billows this afternoon, and I’m reviewing notes for the creative writing course I’ll be teaching again. It’s a busyness that I like, even though it’s really summer’s end when I do this.

I had so many ideas at the beginning of summer, but now it’s all changed again. Reading and listening to the world is one way to keep a grip on what to offer creative writers. But keeping still and quiet is another way to develop those skills and knowledge.

Last night I joined in the 14th annual LiTFUSE Poetry Workshop in Tieton, Washington, via Zoom of course. Grateful to be nominated for a scholarship by my former teacher Matthew Dickman. The topic was poetry manuscript-making, which is always a terrifying process for me. The editors of Airlie Press gave everyone a lot of helpful tips.

I wonder if everyone will be mad at me once they see how tiny this chapbook of mine, Saffron Threaded, really is. My friends know that I’m so prolific. If you ask me for a poem and give me ten minutes, there will be another one. I also wonder if the compressed emotions in a tiny book might thunder.

So much sadness in reading the news. Suffering and fear in Afghanistan, Haiti, and on and on. I wonder if everyone thinks we poets are silly, writing poems as though they will help. But that’s not what I’m doing. I’m asking everything to become a poet, poem by poem. I’m keeping still in the sadness.

Learning to be a blackbird

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