This year I signed up to be a part of Poetry Postcards, a project sponsored by Concrete Wolf each August where poets send a sort of artistic chain letter series. You mail a poem a day to the names on the list. You compose the poem directly on the card, no edits. At the end of the month, you have your own collection of fresh new poems from all the other poets, and a darn good collection of inspiration for new work of your own. Pretty cool!
The website stresses that each postcard should have a NEW poem: “These cards are going to an eager audience of one, so there’s no need to agonize. That’s what’s unique about this experience. Rather than submitting poems for possible rejection, you are sending your words to a ready-made and excited audience awaiting your poems in their mailboxes. Everyone loves getting postcards. And postcards with poems, all the better.”
Unfortunately, this being my first year, I forgot to get started! So now I’m behind, I had to grab a pretty blase assortment of the always available “Scenic Washington” cards, and I’m sending several out all at once this week. And as I get caught up over the month –and as I scavenge some more interesting cards!– I’ll keep posting what I’ve sent and what I’ve received…
Here are my first few poems, sent out to the wilds and my “audience of one” each day. Please remember: Unedited, first draft! I’m looking forward to getting some good jumping-off points to work on later.
For a card with a vintage shot of the Frisko Freeze drive-in a block from my house…
The View from Here
In the late summer we are more like moths
beating against the screen. Undusting
our own wings, we are singing
our own nightsong
for the streetlight sticky with sap
and for the corner where we look down
to the Sound, up to the burger joint.
The kids there are washed in salt
from air, from hood-over-stove vent
In summer, we are drawn to the harbor lights
and the heat lamps again.
For a card with a giant barn in two wide swaths of orange and red poppies…
As the Crow Flies
The roofridge on “the family’s” barn
–way out on Shaw Island–
is not so straight, so safe for crows
as it used to be.
Photos from the last trip out
–the last camping, eight years ago–
show the dip, the lean, the
of our swayback barn.
So pleased with new curves
where timbers once ran straight,
the barn beckons us back to the island.
Even the poppies can’t help
but lean close, list, sigh.