No Degrees of Separation

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Logo by Linda Mitchell

Howdy, poetry friends, and welcome! During November, lots of writers were doing NaNoWriMo. I don’t write novels nor want to, so I sometimes come up with some other challenge for November. This year, in my Facebook Group just for Patrons, I opened up a 30-day challenge, and a few of us picked specific goals. Then we checked in with each other. These were mostly small, manageable things (except Jessica Coupe, who watched a lesson/tutorial and tried a new digital illustration technique every single day!). I vowed to write a first draft of a poem every day, and I shared it with the group–not for critique, but just to be accountable. I did it! A poem a day! Okay, a few times it was 9 pm before I remembered to do it. But whee! And many of the drafts are terrible, but that’s just part of the process.

Here’s draft 2 or 3 of a first draft I liked. I started it while standing outside Great Clips in 8‑degree weather waiting for it to open! (And no, the poem has nothing to do with hair.) And then it went from there. I posted a video in the FB Group sharing the whole process. It’s so strange to see documentation of my process, because if I don’t share about it immediately, I usually can’t remember many of the details!

This still needs work, but something in there feels worth working on. Last weekend, my husband and I went to a Leonid & Friends concert. A Moscow-based band that does covers of Chicago and other bands with horns. But they have members from all over Eastern Europe–Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, etc. And their message is one of unity. Of music bringing us together, and NOT of borders and wars and killing. Even though I only knew maybe 1/3 of the songs, it was really just a joyful experience and vibe.

And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundupwith watercolorist and poet Michelle Kogan!
Save

28 Responses

  1. Your work is always lovely, whether it’s an early draft or a polished poem. Thanks for sharing your words.

  2. I agree with Janet F. Sheets here! I really like your poem, its message and all that goes with this crazy world we are part of. I love how you have the fragile wings. We are all fragile and strong and the sadness of all those who are lost way before their time because of anger and craziness in this world. I pray for everyone. No one deserves these terrible loses from violence and hate. I am too involved in several projects but I still love your posts that come to me via my email. Love to you, Laura. BTW I noticed on your video yesterday that you looked particularly lovely with maybe a shorter style and then saw you last night, So nice.

    1. Thanks, Janet–fragile and strong, exactly. Thanks–got a haircut recently–same haircut I was showing up to get when I brainstormed this poem, in fact :>D

  3. As always, thank you for your words and generosity, Laura. I mostly made my November goal, but am definitely learning to be more poetic in my daily musings.

  4. I admire the goal, Laura, & that you made it happen! This poem feels important, a strong message for us that no matter the circumstances, gun-toting or airy wings, they are all us! That feels good! Thanks for sharing & have a nice weekend!

  5. Thanks for sharing your poem — agree that it has a strong message. Love the dragonfly’s slim airy wings bearing slivers of dreams! And congrats on meeting your November challenge goal!

    Leonid & Friends is a very talented cover group. They’ve become somewhat controversial lately because of the Russian war with Ukraine (Serge T., former lead singer who’s from Ukraine left the group because of political differences). He cannot fathom how his former bandmates and friends could carry on touring the U.S. as usual while Russia is murdering his countrymen. He’s bitter that they haven’t done anything to protest the war (silence is compliance).

  6. Beautiful, Laura. Wow. That’s an awesome draft. I like your approach to NaNoWriMo, too: a time for accountability.

  7. Your poem (draft) draws me in with its very real and scary realization, but I’m especially drawn to the glimmer of hope in dragonfly wings, so fragile and so beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. There are bits of this draft I love. Parts of it don’t quite hang together, but I hope to come back to it…

  8. Oooh, there’s a lot of depth and uniqueness in this draft. This is a new avenue for your poetry and I’m here for it.

  9. Hi Laura! That d r a f t is a stunner. I held my breath about the handgun tucked into the waistband. And so beautiful, to hear & feel the beat of that International music time. Recently I’ve appreciated convos with health care provider, from Russia & feel fortunate to hear about young adults in a small city of that country.
    Thank you for this post.

    1. THanks, Jan, for your kind words. I wondered about leaving that gun hanging, so to speak. But…guns are everywhere. Sometimes it’s a low-grade anxiety rather than outright fear, because they’re so prevalent I can’t muster fear about them constantly. Ugh. Isn’t it good to talk to individuals from a country and remember that the government of a country so often doesn’t represent the wishes of the individuals. God knows Trump did not represent my feelings or attitudes in any way, shape, or form!

  10. Your poem is breathtaking! That dragonfly wing-width that represents the closeness of our shared humanity…wow.

  11. Thanks for this beautiful and powerful poem written between a “dragonfly’s slim airy wings” and “bearing slivers of dreams—“lovely Laura! And what a wonderful night of music it looks like you had.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. (I worked hard on those two lines, and I’m so happy they resonated :>)

  12. This is such a beautiful post, capped by your poem. Draft or not…it’s the truth and that’s what hits me as a reader. I love a good monthly poem challenge. I find it really difficult to do during November which is a busy, busy month for me at my day job. I’m proud of you for sticking to it and being able to say, done! Yay!

    1. Thanks, Linda! I was SO proud of meeting my challenge. I mean, a lot of my first drafts were throwaways, but it was a commitment of at least a few minutes per day to focus on my favorite thing–poetry! You do have to pick the right month, though! No sense sabotaging yourself by adding a challenge to a month when you’re already in the weeds! xo.

  13. Beautiful poem! And you know I love a good challenge. Today, I’m finishing a 5 for 30 challenge for myself where I dabbled in a picture book for at least 5 minutes every day for 30 days. I started out with a lot of lack of direction. I’m finishing with a rough draft! That’s a win.

    1. That IS a win! I’m now curious about how many different picture books you dabbled in throughout the month. Isn’t “dabble” a great, low-pressure word?

  14. Wow, Laura, that’s a very powerful poem. I did not expect that turn from Kevin Bacon to the dragonfly’s wings. That is quite a thought trip in so few words — just great.

  15. I tried to comment earlier, Laura, but I don’t think it ever went through? This is powerful!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,504 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
Tags
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."