For a couple of months I have been in a writing dyads with a colleague. We give each other prompts. Write for 20 minutes. Read what emerges, and then share how the writing landed. What resonated? What touched us.
As a result I’ve been writing poems, and somehow the voice that is coming out is one I want to reinforce, so I am sharing a poem I wrote and evolved a bit this morning. It’s current. It is called:
Long cycles hide in the
busy flow of daily life,
deep currents under the
Sometimes the cycles are a slow crumbling,
a weakening of foundations
that give way abruptly
breaking the surface calm,
giant whales of change.
Living in earthquake country
I listen for faint signals with
my body, tiny tremors that
foreshadow a major snap.
Is this background vigilance
sharpened my foreseeing,
or is the nervousness I feel
the past pushing forward,
clouding, memories of Vietnam?
Entrenched institutional arrangements
move like tectonic plates.
And their locked shifting can snap
and become depressions, and wars.
But are these tremors I feel today
true markers to be followed, and
feared, or simply the crumbling
confidence of my own long life?
Sometimes excitement seeking young people
play chicken with their fast machines,
but the institutional cracking and straining
I feel now, though called a game of chicken,
foreshadows more than a crash,
more a crumbling of trust,
with dreams and lives being pulled
into an opening chasm.
I breath in the fall air
and notice the lack of rain.
A central little tree in our back yard,
tucked under larger oaks
I look around for other
signs that this drought is
cutting more deeply,
quickening our cooking.
When will the long cycles
finally snap through
the sea of our distractions
and bring us face to face with
the breeching whales of change,
the generation shaping crumbling
of our foundations?
And what is asked of us with