Rowing to the Future [poetry friday]

Happy first Poetry Friday of 2015!

I’m excited for a fresh new year. 2014 was not a bad year in most ways, but I just like the feeling of moving forward. Even though the past several years seem to be moving forward all too quickly.

But–in a lovely way to end the year–I joined forces with the Poetry Seven again, and we all wrote triolets somehow connected to beginnings and endings. In the past, we’ve done villanelles, a crown sonnet, rondeau redoubles, and pantoums. And we’ve set the ambitious goal of writing together and sharing one poem of a different form every month this year. I’m so excited! Even though we don’t actually write together, I feel the community of the 7 of us as I work on my poems.

Now, back to the triolet. I’m counting on Kelly or the other Poetry Seven to explain to you what a triolet is, so I’m just just going to drop my triolet without any explanation:>) I wrote two, but this one feels nicely suited to a week of saying goodbye to the past and hello to 2015. Perhaps I’ll share my other one next Friday. This one was inspired by my daughter Maddie, who at the time of my writing, was getting ready to leave for six months in Scotland and India. That literal leaving coupled with the more general leaving of her growing up and leaving home for the great big world…oi.

Photo: ? Anthony Aneese Totah Jr | Dreamstime.com
Photo: ? Anthony Aneese Totah Jr | Dreamstime.com

Rowing to the Future

No looking back–I will not find

my truth. Dissolving in the sand,

relentless waves crash far behind.

No looking back. I will not find

unblistered palms. I’m undefined.

I fiercely row to unmapped land.

No looking back. I will not find

my truth, only dissolving sand.

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Here I am reading “Rowing to the Future.”

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And you can find the other fabulous triolets by clicking on the links below. I feel so lucky to be writing in the new year with these fabulous poets and friends. We don’t always talk often, but we are bonded by poetry, and what could be better? (I’ve put my favorite single line from each triolet in parentheses.)

[Addendum: Complete links to come as everyone posts their triolets!]

Liz Garton Scanlon (who, thankfully, calls us to arms every so often!) — Liz’s triolet was inspired by a story of ancient art, and I love the way her lovely inclusive soul pours out in this poem. (“As old as God, as large, as small”)

Tanita S. Davis — Tanita’s makes me really think about the Photoshopping we do to make our lives more interesting to others, and the real lives that lie behind the little lies that social media magnifies and perpetuates. (“a life, air brushed by Photoshop,”)

Kelly Fineman — Kelly ponders what does and doesn’t matter, and gently reminds us that change happens regardless of whether we want or embrace it. Yup. She also uses shorter line lengths for a completely different triolet feel. (“what you think. Change is.”)

Sara Lewis Holmes — Sara shares a gorgeous triolet that feels comforting to me and reminds me to slow down. (“Else we dry to salt, fleeing night-depths of the ocean;

Andromeda Jazmon — Andi shares a wonderful tribute to her firefighter brother-in-law, who is struggling with a serious illness. (“For all the fires. You send to ash”)

Tricia Stohr-Hunt — Tricia, whose birthday request started us off on this particular poetry project, shares a triolet called “Letting Go,” which she wrote about the death of her colleague/mentor. It’s sad and beautiful and speaks to me on so many levels right now. Letting go is hard. Holding on and holding back are both easy, but not always right or rewarding. Tricia is, conveniently, the Poetry Friday host, too, so by visiting to read her triolet, you’ll get the whole Poetry Friday Roundup, as well. (“watch you loosed and taking flight”)

 

76 Responses

  1. Laura,
    Writing one form poem a month was on my list for 2015 too. Is there any way you could let us know before hand what the monthly form will be?
    Triolets are a fun form and you’ve done a nice job with this one.

    1. Thanks, Joy. Funny, we were just talking about that. We are going to share the form so that anyone who wants to can also write along with us in spirit. Next up: villanelles, to post on Feb. 6. Hope to read yours then, Joy. Happy new year!

  2. Laura,
    Writing one form poem a month was on my list for 2015 too. Is there any way you could let us know before hand what the monthly form will be?
    Triolets are a fun form and you’ve done a nice job with this one.

    1. Thanks, Joy. Funny, we were just talking about that. We are going to share the form so that anyone who wants to can also write along with us in spirit. Next up: villanelles, to post on Feb. 6. Hope to read yours then, Joy. Happy new year!

    1. Aw, thanks, Michelle! Hoping to visit all the PF posts this weekend. It’s been a while since I made it to everyone…

    1. Aw, thanks, Michelle! Hoping to visit all the PF posts this weekend. It’s been a while since I made it to everyone…

  3. Laura, I love your poem’s refrain of “No looking back.” 2014 was an exciting year for me and full of new adventures, but I have a terrible habit of only looking back on the negative. So here’s to focusing on what lies ahead. Happy New Year!

    1. Focus on the future and still CELEBRATE the great things of the past:>) The negatives can hang around long after they’re welcome, can’t they?

    2. P.S. Hoping to get STATES out on Kindle next week and Createspace shortly after!

  4. Laura, I love your poem’s refrain of “No looking back.” 2014 was an exciting year for me and full of new adventures, but I have a terrible habit of only looking back on the negative. So here’s to focusing on what lies ahead. Happy New Year!

    1. Focus on the future and still CELEBRATE the great things of the past:>) The negatives can hang around long after they’re welcome, can’t they?

    2. P.S. Hoping to get STATES out on Kindle next week and Createspace shortly after!

  5. Such powerful images! I love the repetition in this poem. I’ve never written a triolet. This may be a new form to try. Participated in my very first Poetry Friday today.

    1. Thank you, Michelle, and welcome to Poetry Friday! The repetition of triolets does make them good for a meditation, kind of, on a topic. Maybe you’ll give one a try:)

  6. Such powerful images! I love the repetition in this poem. I’ve never written a triolet. This may be a new form to try. Participated in my very first Poetry Friday today.

    1. Thank you, Michelle, and welcome to Poetry Friday! The repetition of triolets does make them good for a meditation, kind of, on a topic. Maybe you’ll give one a try:)

  7. Laura, this is simply lovely! Love all your variations. My favorite part: “I’m undefined.” May it always be so as your daughter continues to create her life! Wishing her a joyous journey, and I’m excited to enjoy the fruits from the Poetry Seven. 🙂 ALSO: so happy to share space with you on the Nerdy Poetry list! xo

  8. Laura, this is simply lovely! Love all your variations. My favorite part: “I’m undefined.” May it always be so as your daughter continues to create her life! Wishing her a joyous journey, and I’m excited to enjoy the fruits from the Poetry Seven. 🙂 ALSO: so happy to share space with you on the Nerdy Poetry list! xo

  9. I love the last line — what a way to end with a bang! I often find myself sifting through the past for some key to unlock the present, but you are right — it’s dissolving sand that keeps me from focusing on the now! Exellent triolet!

    1. Thank you, Keri:>) You know, it’s a fine line. If we don’t go back and sort of analyze the past and use it to change the future, then that’s a wasted opportunity. But focusing a whole lot on the past, resisting change, wanting everything to stay the same…that’s a trap, I think.

  10. I love the last line — what a way to end with a bang! I often find myself sifting through the past for some key to unlock the present, but you are right — it’s dissolving sand that keeps me from focusing on the now! Exellent triolet!

    1. Thank you, Keri:>) You know, it’s a fine line. If we don’t go back and sort of analyze the past and use it to change the future, then that’s a wasted opportunity. But focusing a whole lot on the past, resisting change, wanting everything to stay the same…that’s a trap, I think.

  11. Lovely poem, Laura–love the repetition and variations within them. I’ve only attempted one triolet and the results were fairly meh…but you’ve inspired me to try again. (And maybe a villanelle by February 6?)

  12. Lovely poem, Laura–love the repetition and variations within them. I’ve only attempted one triolet and the results were fairly meh…but you’ve inspired me to try again. (And maybe a villanelle by February 6?)

  13. Oh, Laura. I just love the fierce rowing to unmapped lands…
    You inspired me so.

    And the way you summed up all the other triolets — perfect.
    Thank you. We are all lucky to have each other… xxoxox

    1. Thank you, Liz. So lovely to hear that…and I love facing the future with our group:>)

  14. Oh, Laura. I just love the fierce rowing to unmapped lands…
    You inspired me so.

    And the way you summed up all the other triolets — perfect.
    Thank you. We are all lucky to have each other… xxoxox

    1. Thank you, Liz. So lovely to hear that…and I love facing the future with our group:>)

  15. So love your poem. And I love how you introduced all of us in your links. I’m really excited about our monthly projects this year!

  16. So love your poem. And I love how you introduced all of us in your links. I’m really excited about our monthly projects this year!

  17. “No looking back.” These are such powerful words, particularly as we embark on a new year. And I’m going to take the advice suggested here and “fiercely row to unmapped land” myself in the days to come.

    This is a lovely poem. Thanks for inspiring me to embrace the future.

  18. “No looking back.” These are such powerful words, particularly as we embark on a new year. And I’m going to take the advice suggested here and “fiercely row to unmapped land” myself in the days to come.

    This is a lovely poem. Thanks for inspiring me to embrace the future.

  19. “No looking back. I will not find

    unblistered palms. I?m undefined.”

    I just love the determination and passion in these lines. It makes me want to go out and explore a new country myself! I’m so looking forward to our year of poetry in 2015!

    1. Thank you, Andi. Determination and passion–I like that, as those are two qualities I try to face the future with. We all have new countries to explore:>)

  20. “No looking back. I will not find

    unblistered palms. I?m undefined.”

    I just love the determination and passion in these lines. It makes me want to go out and explore a new country myself! I’m so looking forward to our year of poetry in 2015!

    1. Thank you, Andi. Determination and passion–I like that, as those are two qualities I try to face the future with. We all have new countries to explore:>)

  21. What a great poem, Laura. I especially love the ending:
    »No looking back. I will not find
    my truth, only dissolving sand.«
    I hope the journey ahead is filled with many wonderful surprises!

  22. What a great poem, Laura. I especially love the ending:
    »No looking back. I will not find
    my truth, only dissolving sand.«
    I hope the journey ahead is filled with many wonderful surprises!

  23. I think the words “no looking back” might also be tattooed on me somewhere for the new year. I love that the phrase repeats — we don’t look back and find some things the same — blood, sweat, tears, callouses — as we go forward to that unknown region. (And now I have to look up Whitman’s Unknown Region. Love how one good poem always begets another!)

    1. Thank you, Tanita–and now I’ll have to go read that poem, too. I am NOT a Whitman fan, generally. But I love seeing connections between poems:>)

  24. I think the words “no looking back” might also be tattooed on me somewhere for the new year. I love that the phrase repeats — we don’t look back and find some things the same — blood, sweat, tears, callouses — as we go forward to that unknown region. (And now I have to look up Whitman’s Unknown Region. Love how one good poem always begets another!)

    1. Thank you, Tanita–and now I’ll have to go read that poem, too. I am NOT a Whitman fan, generally. But I love seeing connections between poems:>)

    1. Thank you, Penny! I’m no master of triolets, for sure, but the form feels fairly accommodating to me. Many of my co-poets felt differently and felt it was much harder than other forms–forms I find 10 times harder! Give it a try! Or try a villanelle. We’re going to write villanelles this month and share them Feb. 6.

    1. Thank you, Penny! I’m no master of triolets, for sure, but the form feels fairly accommodating to me. Many of my co-poets felt differently and felt it was much harder than other forms–forms I find 10 times harder! Give it a try! Or try a villanelle. We’re going to write villanelles this month and share them Feb. 6.

  25. I love this form because with all my trouble with rhyming, I like following rules. I have added this form to my little journal set aside for 15 Words or Less. I could call it my LPS journal.
    I love the turn at the end where you only find dissolving sand, so profound. I’ve enjoyed bouncing to different blogs and reading all the different poems. Thanks for the links.

    1. So glad you enjoyed them, Margaret. I am a rule-follower, too. It’s hard to be a poet and a rule-follower, isn’t it? Have you tried the zeno? I think it’s the perfect form for poets who want to rhyme but struggle with meter. It’s fabulous!

      P.S. We’ll be writing villanelles this month to share on Feb. 6.

  26. I love this form because with all my trouble with rhyming, I like following rules. I have added this form to my little journal set aside for 15 Words or Less. I could call it my LPS journal.
    I love the turn at the end where you only find dissolving sand, so profound. I’ve enjoyed bouncing to different blogs and reading all the different poems. Thanks for the links.

    1. So glad you enjoyed them, Margaret. I am a rule-follower, too. It’s hard to be a poet and a rule-follower, isn’t it? Have you tried the zeno? I think it’s the perfect form for poets who want to rhyme but struggle with meter. It’s fabulous!

      P.S. We’ll be writing villanelles this month to share on Feb. 6.

  27. Oh, how I love how you’ve given each of our poems an intro. It makes me feel as if we are on the red carpet, somehow, except, you know…we don’t have to get dressed up. I love me some fierce rowing, too! This is going to be a good, good year…

  28. Oh, how I love how you’ve given each of our poems an intro. It makes me feel as if we are on the red carpet, somehow, except, you know…we don’t have to get dressed up. I love me some fierce rowing, too! This is going to be a good, good year…

  29. A worthy tribute to your (our) our stage of life with these newly minted mostly grown-up kids — and yet a universal calling for all of us, young or not, to keep rowing, keep defining. Best wishes to Maddie in her traveling adventures!

    The electricity and encouragement among you Seven makes me smile — nice of you all to share with the world! I haven’t written a triolet in a while; reading these is tickling my poetic fancy.…

    1. Thank you, Robyn…it’s an exciting but just slightly melancholy stage for me. Mostly exciting, though:) thank you for the good wishes for Maddie, too.

      It’s funny–we 7 don’t talk that often, many of us, and some of us don’t know each other very well. But there IS some inexplicable bond/energy between us, and I’m grateful for this! Next up, villanelles:)

  30. A worthy tribute to your (our) our stage of life with these newly minted mostly grown-up kids — and yet a universal calling for all of us, young or not, to keep rowing, keep defining. Best wishes to Maddie in her traveling adventures!

    The electricity and encouragement among you Seven makes me smile — nice of you all to share with the world! I haven’t written a triolet in a while; reading these is tickling my poetic fancy.…

    1. Thank you, Robyn…it’s an exciting but just slightly melancholy stage for me. Mostly exciting, though:) thank you for the good wishes for Maddie, too.

      It’s funny–we 7 don’t talk that often, many of us, and some of us don’t know each other very well. But there IS some inexplicable bond/energy between us, and I’m grateful for this! Next up, villanelles:)

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