I couldn’t keep up with life, work, and Laura Shovan’s Found Poetry Project, “10 Words Found in the News” this week. A few drafts are hiding in my notebook, and for now, that’s where they’ll stay. Thursday’s words, rural, warm, digester, dumps, compost, hanging, cartel, burial, peels, scraps, were culled by Ruth Lehrer from “The Compost King of New York” in the New York Times. They appealed to me immediately. My grandmother had a compost heap in her back yard for fertilizing her garden, and I initially went down that path. But, as often happens, another possibility presented itself.
Words bubble up, seeking my attention. Some form a cartel, hanging together to demand a high price for their use.
One or two peel away, shimmering with possibility.
The rest are buried, dumped along with scraps of stories and lines of abandoned poems to a compost heap in some rural part of my brain.
In the warmth and darkness of my unconscious, as if in a digester, they ferment, waiting their turn to bubble up to the surface
Once again, I am sharing a poem written in response to Laura Shovan’s Found Poetry Project. This year’s theme is “10 Words Found in the News.” For Thursday’s inspiration, Mary Lee Hahn chose Elizabeth Warren’s words from a CNN interview after she was banned from speaking on the Senate floor by Mitch McConnell. “They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” Warren proclaimed.
As soon as I saw these words, Mary Lee’s post on Nikki Grimes’s amazing new poetry collection, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomsbury, 2017) came to mind. Using the Golden Shovel form, Grimes uses lines from and/or entire poems written by giants of the Harlem Renaissance to create new verses. Each line in the new poem ends with a word from the original verse. (Be sure to read Mary Lee’s post for a much clearer explanation. Better yet, get yourself a copy of One Last Word and read Grimes’s note about the form. The poetry, both the original poems and the new poems they inspired, is breathtaking. Warren’s statement seemed to be tailor made for a Golden Shovel poem. Here is my attempt at the form.
This poem was written in response to Laura Shovan’s Found Poetry Project. This year’s theme is “10 Words Found in the News.” Laura’s goal is to “encourage everyone to look at that language as a poet. We can create found poems and word art to reflect what’s happening in our country and world.” Today’s words, worldview, help, shareholders, safer, protections, dishonest, media, replace, business, and Messiah, are from NPR’s February 1st story about Rex Tillerson’s approval as Secretary of State.
Let the worldview we carry within us be this:
We are all shareholders, caretakers of the abundance of our planet.
We owe her our protection, to keep our water safe, to help our neighbors in need.
This is the business of living.
Don’t dwell on the media’s howls of dishonest, troubled souls. Replace fear with love, and find the power of your Messiah within, in the light of your heart.