First, Summer Poetry Swap Confession: I so enjoyed the Winter Poem Swap - these things are conjured up by the amazing Tabatha Yeatts - that I signed on for this year's Summer Swap. "I'll be all settled and organized by June," I says to myself. "I'm in!"
Got my first secret recipient info - it was Diane Mayr! I'm a not-so-secret admirer of her poetry, her quick wit and thoughtfulness, her art sense, her ability to juggle three blogs simultaneously and hold down a real job and keep her feline companions happy... . "I'll come up with some lovely haiku for her," I says to myself. Well, that first "deadline" zinged right past me, and I sent her a little groveling message that I was already behind! (Of course, she sent a "no worries"-type message back. But she SHOULD get my offering in the mail today according to the P. O., not haiku but something else. When I saw Buffy's message to her first Summer Swap partner that hers would be a little late, I emailed Buffy about how much better that made me feel!)
Anyway, I was delighted to open my own mailbox and find a special envelope with Margaret Simon's return address! Margaret is just one of those people you want to drive all the way to Louisiana to meet up with and talk with for hours over some strong Louisiana coffee, just by reading her blog posts and her thoughtful comments all around. BUT - I was also feeling a little guilty. Her poetic gift arrived on time, and I just knew it would be something wonderful.
When a quiet moment finally presented itself, I opened the envelope, feeling inadequate already. A hand painted card was inside, and it looked like my new surroundings! At first I thought, "Does the bayou look like our lowcountry?!" Then I read that she'd looked online for a picture of "South Carolina beaches" and she painted, in watercolor, a scene she found! (I didn't even know she painted - did you?)
If that wasn't enough to grab me - and actually, it was! - I read the beautiful poem she'd penned inside. Talk about humbled. And uplifted. I was struggling to feel like I could slow down enough (even in this "slowcountry") to write some new poetry, and I fell right into these words:
Poem in the Sand
Let a poem find your voice.
Real things can happen there,
even imaginary ones
Poems hide in unexpected places,
buried in the sand, tossed from the sea.
Turn the grains over in your hand.
Take them to where you want to go.
Whisper softly like ocean waves.
I’ll know when I hear your voice.
Your words will find me watching.
Your words will find my heart waiting.
Sigh. I felt so grateful. And less stressed. What a gift! And the imagery of sand experienced in different ways - it reminded me of time, too, and nudged me not to fight it all the time!
Isn't the last stanza something? I think anyone who reads it will feel encouraged. I sure did.
[By the way - Buffy, if you're reading this, and at the risk of spoiling a surprise - guess who my next poem is going to?? ;0) ]
AND, guess who is hosting us today? BUFFY! Go check out all the great offerings at Buffy's Blog (and tell her to watch her mailbox, but maybe not with bated breath....)