Another Poet’s Pub Night has come and gone along with the month of September. It went not exactly as planned, but it was entertaining, and I learned a few things from it. For one thing, there were only three or four people out of the twenty-some in attendance who wanted to participate in the planned agenda. This included myself and two other poets, and the young lady and the young man who came to share feelings and thoughts through the poetry of music. In other words, the majority of the group was not interested in taking part in 100 Thousand Poets for change. That was somewhat disappointing. I firmly believe that as poets we are wasting our opportunity to make a serious impact on our world. Last night was a chance for the poets of the Valley to get together and start networking and using our talent with words to bring feeling and emotion to the discussion on so many heartbreaking issues facing mankind today. We do have a unique voice if we choose to use it. Instead, we want to play games with poetry rather than listen to the depth of feelings that we all bring to the table. We also want to sit and share pieces of verbal gymnastics instead of using poetry to communicate our thoughts and feelings. We are focusing on performance skills instead of the power of the words themselves.
On the positive side of Monday evening, people did come out to have fun. Most of the crowd were under thirty and that is a very good thing in itself. They were there to just have a good time through creative writing fun. So we went with the flow. My co-host introduced topics like “the Sausage Engineer”, “Pussy Willows”, and “Banana Cushion” and you know where that went. The place lit up and people began to participate in earnest. I am okay with that. If serious poets do not want to attend pub night, that’s okay with me. If young people and a few hard souls from the forty plus club want to get together and have fun with words then we will just run with it and see where it goes. The theme for the next one on Monday, October 28, is Dead Poet’s Society. Come in costume and write in that character. We will have open mike for prewritten stuff and then do some impromptu writing and sharing.
If I sound disappointed. I am not. I did get a free beer, and settled back and enjoyed myself. Here are my two contributions to the fun night. I just cannot do “funny” so I interjected a few moments of seriousness in spite of the topics. The Willow Bends is about learning to survive with depression and the Banana Pillow is about the exploitation of workers on Latin American farms.Goodness knows, I tried.
A Willow Bends
A Willow bends when the cold North Winds blow;
Yet, it is strong in heart, hardened and heavy in age;
A Willow bends, its flexibility helping it grow,
Free to overcome life’s unreasonable, random rage.
Oh to be like the willow!
Growing in summer’s sentient sun,
Letting the quiet of the moment blossom to its fullest,
Drinking in sweet waters until the Northern day is finally done.
A willow bends when the winter snows bring new sorrow,
Sagging and drooping beneath the cold blanket of white,
Holding fast to the promise of a bright fruitful tomorrow,
Choosing when to bend and when to stand up and fight.
Oh to be like the willow!
Oh to laugh and dance the wild dance,
When the rage surpasses human understanding,
And the promises of tomorrow are left to fickle chance.
Feeling the power,
To change my world.
Resting in the gracious curve
Of your soft sweet body.
Not caring, not sharing,
The wealth you bring
To those who break their backs
Carrying you to my table.