30 April 2011

NaPoWriMo 30 ~ Letter

Here's the prompt from Poetry Tow Truck: Have you ever told poetry how you feel about it? For today, write a love letter to poetry itself – or to a favorite poet or poem, or to words, or to a person that brought poetry into your life…interpret the prompt however you like. And keep poems in your life every month, not just in April.

Thank you for the prompt, Donna. I read Donna’s piece first, and it was about her first poetry crush. I went to the same place. I have not read nor thought about Rod McKuen for quite a few years. It was fun to revisit some of his work on the Internet. One of his pieces made me know that I would be okay no matter what happened in my life. It follows my letter to Rod McKuen.
Dear Mr. McKuen,

Thirteen year old me
floundered through identity
and craved popularity

fourteen year old me
hid in my high school library
reading your plain language poetry

you saved me
behind the stacks
identifying with your angst
and yearning your desire
we got to know each other
your words entered me
and sent me to Safeway
after a purple spiral notebook
where you became my first muse.

You saved me, Mr. McKuen
when saving is what I needed most.

Clouds are not the cheeks of angels,
and you Sir, helped me push some from my way.

May love shine its light
through your life every day.

Walk in peace,

Brenda Warren


Eight: Pushing the Clouds Away
By Rod McKuen

Clouds are not the cheeks of angels you know
they're only clouds.
Friendly sometimes,
but you can never be sure.
If I had longer arms
I'd push the clouds away
or make them hang above the water somewhere else,
but I'm just a man
who needs and wants,
mostly things he'll never have.
Looking for that thing that's hardest to find--

I've been going a long time now
along the way I've learned some things.
You have to make the good times yourself
take the little times and make them into big times
and save the times that are all right
for the ones that aren't so good.

I've never been able
to push the clouds away by myself.
Help me.

A HUGE SHOUT OUT to Rob at Writer's Island.  Thank you for providing a place to post our poetry all month long.  It's been a fun ride.


brenda w said...

Oh my gosh! I just found Rod McKuen's Facebook page, and it is his birthday today!

Dave King said...

Both excellent.

flaubert said...

Brenda, your poem shines and is full of emotion. It has been a wonderful and a bit of an exhausting month, but worth every second of my time. I am quite happy to have met you.


Marianne said...

Greatly enjoyed your "Dear Mr. McKuen." What a brilliant response to the prompt. My first McKuen book: Listen to the Warm. I had never read anything like it. His words are so simple and yet so poignant!

NaPo has been a stellar experience, made more so by your poems and comments!

Mary said...

I'm another Rod McKuen fan. Though I have disposed of many books of the past, I continue to hold on to THREE hardbound poetry books of his. I also have LP's of him singing his poems in his voice of gravel. Your poem brought back memories. Nice blogging with you this month, Brenda!

brenda w said...

~Dave, Thank you for stopping by.
~Pamela, We're friends now, and that makes my world richer!
~Marianne, I hope we keep seeing each other out here in this odd blogging world. :) Thank you.
~Mary, I loved those books so dearly as a young woman. It has been great reconnecting with you.

Mr. Walker said...

Brenda, a perfectly timed poem. A nice way to end the month - and on his birthday no less. I'm not familiar with his poetry, but I like "Pushing the Clouds Away". I like your line: "your words entered me" - I think that's a good line for this month. (And thanks for adding my blog to your blogroll).

Anonymous said...

A new poet to me. You honour him.

Elizabeth said...

Brenda, I have found so much inspiration here in your words this month. Can't begin to thank you enough for that. I love Montana, and now I feel like I actually have a touchstone under that huge and beautiful sky. Love what you did in your poem today. Love those simple words that say so much, both yours and his. Wonderful tribute and again, you have given me another idea. Bless you,


Anonymous said...

What a great tribute...and on his birthday, no less! I hope you sent a link to him.

I'm unfamiliar with his work...I have much to learn about poetry. I really didn't even LIKE poetry until about five months ago. I have a lot of catching up to do.

I look forward to crossing paths with you often in the days to come...


Linda said...

I love the honesty and clarity of this poem.

Gloria said...

Brilliant Brenda!!! And thank you for sharing Rod McKuen's poem as well. Both are beautiful!