Why did the day break before it began?
The dream still fermenting, the sudden rain?
Then you, muttering behind the door
you jerked shut.
I walked around the man-made lake.
A cormorant dived, making the water dance.
I was not lonely as I pieced the day back;
this corner of sky
a piece of green bench
that edge of dark wing.
Catherine Bateson, 14/04/2015
This poem was, partly, inspired by the first class of How Writers Write Poetry which is a Canvas MOOC from the International Writing Programme from the University of Iowa. Robert Hass is one of the first group of poets to talk about 'Notebooking, Sketching, Drafting' which is Session One of the course. I had heard him before as I enrolled in this MOOC last year, as well. This year they seem to have added some poets and I so enjoyed it last year, I didn't mind hearing the sessions again. Hass suggests beginning a (two-line) poem with a question and then answering it. I'd been fussing around with this poem all afternoon, trying to make it work and going off on tangents. Finally, after watching the video, it came together.
I like questions. I try to use them in my everyday communications, too. They open up possibilities.
As does the featured Tuesday poem. This week it is Leilani Tamu with a powerful, plainsong poem, 'Aotearoa Runaway'. You can read an article by Tamu here - and it is interesting to read this alongside the poem, not only because it talks about incidents in the poem but because it displays another side of Tamu's writing. 'Aotearoa Runaway' has been curated by Tulia Thompson, and she provides a perceptive commentary. Please read it.