I had spent most of Monday trying to put into poetic form the experience I’d written about here in my journal regarding last Sunday’s Easter worship service which I then followed that evening with a late dinner with friends which meant in turn that I got to bed much later than usual. And because I slept soundly for only a few hours, I was running tired yesterday morning. Still, I tried to keep to my Tuesday schedule, walking across the bridge and attending my Zumba class at 8:30 AM at Maple Hall, the home of LaConner’s Senior Center every Tuesday and Thursday. This morning, I just didn’t have the stamina for it, and dropped out half way through the hour and made my way back home, even stopping a few times to rest. This was not like me at all but one of the things I’ve trained myself to do is listen to my body. And my body said “stop, not today”. I’ve been noticing this lack of stamina for awhile now and will keep monitoring it. (Incidentally, this is an example why it’s good to keep a journal. It brings issues you tend to ignore to the surface, making you more conscious of them and thus able to take action more quickly, if necessary).

Once I got home, had something to eat and finished up the poem, I was feeling much better. The poem had been a challenge (I couldn’t come up with a way to make a creative transition from the first half to the second half)  and was preoccupying my mind even as I was doing my Zumba exercises. I was much happier now that I had completed the poem, more or less to my satisfaction. The poem’s entitled “Exuberance” and you’ll soon be able to read it here on my website. Then you can tell me what you think. It was at the beginning of my afternoon class of caregivers where my poetry surfaced again and which gave rise to today’s journal title. For I was genuinely surprised to have two different women tell me how much they’d enjoyed another poem of mine which had appeared in the local paper a few weeks ago. I had already received a number of favorable comments about this particular poem from other sources but this was different. These two women were both writers, one of them a published poet. It was she who said that she had cut the poem out of the paper, framed it and put it on the refrigerator so she could read it frequently. In fact, she said, it had brought tears to her eyes. This poem was a departure from my usual style and her reaction brought me up short. Why? She said it herself: “It gave me hope”. Because it’s not a long poem , I include it below. Is there a clue here for the direction my poetry should take?

New Land                 

Oh, sing me, sing me, to a new land /where is heard Equality’s song,/Where men and women work and play for equal pay/And all is right, nothing wrong, nothing wrong.

Oh, drum me, drum me, to a new place, where is heard Equality’s beat,/Where men and women dance in step/ neither following nor leading, graceful and strong/,And all is right, nothing wrong, nothing wrong.

Oh, fife me, fife me, to a new space, where is heard Equality’s highest note,/Where marching men and women, an awakening throng/High-step into tomorrow/And all is right, nothing wrong, nothing wrong.

Oh, cry me, cry me, to a new world, where is heard Equality’s joyful sound/Where men and women, honor- bound to care/Find in community, love’s delight/And nothing is wrong, all is right, all is right.

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