This week, I had the privilege of spending 90 minutes with sixteen fabulous poets from the community at my Nature-made Poetry Workshop. We explored nature through an up-close and personal lens, and then from a distance. I was humbled by the beautiful poems that were shared with the group at the end of the session.
Before we started writing our own poems, however, I had everyone participate in a warm-up exercise called “First Line.” In this exercise, the first line from an existing poem is provided, and the poem is then passed around the table with each poet adding a subsequent line.
Like our nature exploration, this exercise has the poet first focusing narrowly on the line that came before, then from a distance to take into account the whole of the emerging poem. What resulted from each group was a meaningful poem, which you can enjoy below.
Interested in trying a workshop?
Come join me on Wednesday 8/7 from 12:00-1:30PM in the final Nature-made Poetry Workshop. You do not need to have attended the previous workshops to join in the fun.
And don’t forget to RSVP to the Nature-themed Community Poetry Night happening on Thursday 8/8. Details and tickets available here.
Enjoy the sunshine and the natural world in its summer state!
WARM-UP “FIRST LINE” POEMS FROM 7/31/19 CPL WORKSHOP
Nature-made Workshop Group Poem A
after “Packing” by Sampurna Chattarji
I put in a butterfly, first
and a drop of cherry juice
watched its wings turn the color of sunset
in the blazing sun
brushed with the flowers of the clouds
its wings carried it through, to the heavens
into my dreams from which I woke
and rose through the day, butterfly
Nature-made Workshop Group Poem B
after “Replication of Desire” by Lee Herrick
How much delight before we collapse
Thoughts tumble as I grapple with my heart
Hearts expand, smiles abound
We strive to connect to all
Give me ten more seconds, I’ll survive
When you tickle me unconscious
Nature-made Workshop Group Poem C
after “California Hills in August” by Dana Gioia
I can imagine someone who found
a redwood growing in the desert
kelp rising up from a bed of fern
stood there stricken with awe
color, dry sand, green and alive
on this planet, I can thrive
Nature-made Workshop Group Poem D
after “Beauty is brief and violent” by Snehad Vadher
Beauty is brief and violent
Punching a fist in the flour that will be cake
A splash of strawberry icing has lent
Its sweetness to the chill of celebration
Family gathers around and sings, and sings
Until hoorah explodes and the crowd ebbs