The year 2018 is upon us. WOW! We each ascribe our own symbolism to crossing the threshold of a new year. Don’t we? By framing your intentions or resolutions with words of your choice, do you empower them? Are these words the boat that glides you over the waters of the year to come? Or do they create the storms ahead? I wonder.
One way to freshen your writing is to choose “new words”. Several years ago, I attended a creative writing workshop presented by a visiting poet–Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. She had a bowl of “word tickets.” I grabbed a handful of words written on tickets. We were each given a pocket dictionary in case we didn’t have a meaning for the words. I looked up the obscure words and found a few other appealing words which I wrote down in the process. I had my own little “word pool” puddling up on the floor beside me.
The mind is an organizing tool. It took up the challenge inspired by this word pool. How do I make something sensible, harmonious and yet personal from this pool of words? Had I not been invited to do this exercise, this poem would not have been written.
Come Closer Star
© by Christine O’Brien
I come from a long line of bakers
desserts like late afternoon light in a box,
on a plate, on the dingy table beside the
compact refrigerator storing our leftover takeout;
hummng a white noise which lulled us into
I remember the poster of the Arnos, its
curling corners like dreams of travel
eaten by fast flame.
I try to forget your green eyes,
the unripe berries that they were–
unborn cities, gravel torture
and unbidden truth.
The swirling Rings of Saturn
on the ceiling;
pinnacles of Oberhausen steel
and the metallic
taste on your tongue.
I remember that Friday,
the marching band on the street below
the droopy violets on
the window ledge.
“Come closer Star,” you say.
I used to be your prayer
in ordinary time.
You pluck one red poppy
stash it behind my left ear.
The cat scampers
over the cobbles below
and what used to suffice is
If you could choose your words for the upcoming year, what might they be? Over the course of the day, notice the words that have appeal for you as heard in conversations, the radio, television, walking down the street, etc. Write them down. Go on a dictionary excursion to bring in some fresh, new words. Write them down. Design a poem integrating both your initial words and the new words.
Have a blessed, happy new year.