Last year in April, National Poetry Month in the US, I took the 30 poems in 30 days challenge. I posted them on facebook-- which felt both bold and terrifying, but I knew that if I didn't post them I wouldn't write them. Some days the poems stuck in my throat and twisted out of me, and other days they flowed.
After it was over I felt restored. I hadn't written poetry regularly in over ten years. I'd gotten my poetry mojo back.
But after the month of forced poetry I disappointed myself. I didn't keep it up the way I'd wanted to. I punished myself for needing that outside influence, the uncritical cheering voices of friends. Real writers don't need that.
Of course I know that's nonsense. Any artistic or creative enterprise requires a dialogue with an inner five-year-old, and that five-year-old needs a big cheering committee sometimes, especially when she's been living inside of a small box for too long.
Now the poetry is taking over again anyway, because who can stop from writing poetry surrounded by all these blossoms?
So I'll start the 30-in-30 challenge today, just before the new moon, and continue every day through the next new moon. Along the way I'll find ways to cheer for the five-year-old, and (with luck) keep it up this time after the 30 days are over. Will report back on the progress.
It isn't too late to join me. Never too late, actually.
Here is today's poem:
rising in tiny spring spirals
deep purple petals
unfolding like a fan
in the hand of a flamenco dancer
inward wrist circling outward
down circling up
meeting the sun
for a half-life
of pure delight
In the comments I'd love it if you'd leave your own poem of course, and/or an answer to this question:
What or who encourages your inner five-year-old to be creative?