Life is a Cup of Coffee (Which is Like a Woman)

Life is a cup of coffee–
good to the last gulp.
Sometimes it’s sweet,
at others, bitter,
& can cost as little or as much
as we are willing to pay for it.
In basic black, it comes,
or in all shades of complicated cream,
but, like any good thing,
it runs out too soon.

A Time to Share: Reflections on one stop of my writing journey

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Being a guest blogger for https://getconnectdad.com/ has been a wonderful experience.  I was intrigued by the “52 Traits” we want to instill in our children; writing about them in poetic form has helped me explore such abstracts on a deeper level:  https://sarahleastories.com/get-connected-dad-my-contributions/

I’m a natural born storyteller, and I’ve found that my poems tend to be narratives with strategically-placed line breaks.  With the exception of children’s nursery rhymes, I find myself veering away from rhyme.  I like to say “metaphor is the new rhyme.”

I’ve finally become comfortable sharing my poetry in front of an audience.  My life motto has become “Aw, what the hell?”  I’ve always regretted the times I could’ve read and didn’t, but never the times I did, even if it didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked.

For example, one of my English professors told our class that my short story, “The Punch Drunk Potluck” (about what happens when a prospective member of the Church spikes the punch and brings pot brownies) was supposed to be humorous.  I was thinking, Oh, my god, don’t tell them that.  If they don’t laugh, I’ll be so embarrassed.

Even though “Punch” won first place in the college’s annual literary contest, they didn’t laugh.  That said, I was a bit uncomfortable (I’m sure I was breaking out in hives) during the reading (it was, after all, a super silly story), but I did it, and afterwards, a few people came up to me and told me how great it was.  (People may not always laugh, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t think it was funny; I don’t laugh at every joke I hear on “Cheers”).  One even asked for a copy.

The girl who asked for a copy used to be a member of the FLDS Church (her father had four wives), and so she understood all the nuances of my piece.  I’ve found that of all the different kinds of writing I do, I enjoy writing my humor pieces the most.  Even though I wouldn’t consider myself a funny gal (more just witty), I keep in mind that Lucille Ball was very serious in real life.

Out of the nine readers at the poetry reading at my college, I was the only one who read anything humorous  (“Hanging from the Family Tree”).  I like to say “a little subtlety and a little levity goes a long way.”  When offered the chance to read again, I read a serious poem (one I would describe as “hauntingly beautiful”), but everyone loved the first.  My inspiration for that one?  My family:  The gift that keeps on regifting.  (I was even asked to perform an encore the next day at the office.)

I’d worn my white snood; I decided that would be my schtick.  (When I used to color my hair red, I thought “The Lady in Red” had a nice ring to it; I would wear all red, down to my shoes.)  Since I had to stop coloring my hair when I was expecting (only to find I had gray hairs), I had to ditch that notion, at least during my child-bearing years.  (And have you ever tried finding red shoes?  Especially in a size 10?)

That night of the reading (taking a piece of advice one of the other students in my poetry class gave), I opened with a joke I’d overheard in the English department:

Q:  What does the Secret Service shout when they see a bullet coming towards the President?

A:  Donald!  Duck!

That icebreaker helped dispel almost all my self-consciousness.

My advice:  Don’t overthink it.  Just go for it.

 

 

Wings

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Once upon a time in Nantucket,
there were two brothers—
Joe, the Jacob,
Brian, the Esau;
borne of a mother
who was like a distant star,
and a father who was simply lost in space,
careworn down by time.

There were two goddesses,
Helen with her cello
and Cassandra called Casey—
Helen, who found her way,
Casey, losing herself along it.
The day would come each would
go the way of one of the brothers,
but only Joe and Helen would endure.

There was the artful Mechanic,
the merry Widow,
the unlucky Immigrant,
the female Flyer—
like little charms on an island necklace,
but only two would stay,
for two would go.

In the fantasy world known as Tom Nevers field,
there was the lone David,
known as Sandpiper Air,
and Aeromass—
the seven air devils run by Goliath.

And it was during that time,
not so long before the towers fell,
when airports were the first stop to fun times elsewhere—
the last stop before that place that was like no other—
that this fairy tale was encapsulated,
so that nothing ugly could touch it.

And it was in Nantucket
that the Pilot and the Cellist,
through loves won for a time,
through others lost forever,
lived happily ever after.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/63525/13-things-you-might-not-know-about-wings