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Sunday, July 7, 2013

God of Poetry: A Writers' Retreat


God of Poetry: A Writers’ Retreat

We break bread, share wine,

a get-acquainted preamble.

Evening relaxes

sun-sweet, after hard rain;

we gather outdoors for your poetry reading.


From damp adirondacks, we listen;

a semi-circle of homage

and blackflies.  We lean in,

ignore spasms of itch. 

The lawn, resurrected

as bog, washes our feet.


We murmur entreaties:

“May there be

enough grass plastered

on toes to protect them

from feast.”


You stand.

A father’s gentle voice

reading stories to children.

You choose four poems;

do not want to overwhelm.

Our fingers reach

to touch the hem of your words.

You finish.  No sound.

Our heads bowed. 


Then you swat a blackfly

on the back of your neck

and say,

“We have to suffer for art.”

Laughter, applause;

we run back to the inn.


Alone in our rooms,

we each pray before sleep:

“May our stings and spilled blood


the stigmata

of poets.”


I attended an excellent retreat for writers and wrote this tongue-in-cheek poem about our first evening together, after hearing some participants respectfully and affectionately referring to our instructor as the “God of Poetry.”  He may or may not be a god, but he was helpful to me, taught me much about how to write and gave gentle, direct feedback.  Perhaps, they are correct.  Being god-like encompasses kindness, teaching by example and helping people where they are.  Oh yes, and having a sense of humor.


Words and photo are copyright © 2011-2013 Carol Steel.


Fireblossom said...

Some poets make *others* suffer for their art! This, though, sounds like a wonderful experience you had, and I felt as if i were right there with you, listening.

Crafty Green Poet said...

outdoor poetry readings are wonderful, though added insects not so good! Glad you enjoyed it!

Rambling Woods said...

....stopping by.....always enjoy my visits

Carol Steel said...

Hi Fireblossom. Thanks for visiting. He was a great instructor. And it was a good learning experience.

Carol Steel said...

Hello CGP. I enjoy poetry readings in the outdoors too. There were tons of bugs because it had rained for days and this was the first sunny break.

Carol Steel said...

Hello Michelle. Thanks for stopping by.