Friday, January 28, 2022

Poetry Friday: Overheard

For our first poetry challenge of 2022, we composed "overheard" poems---which, as the name suggests, are created from borrowed material. They are similar to found poems-- but made from oral snippets instead of written ones.  The inspiration came from Susan Thomsen's blog

The challenge was clear enough---but when I went looking for material to borrow, I found that overhearing things was not easy in this muffled age of masks and social distancing. And the more I tried to listen in, the more dejected I felt. 


I missed the easy give and flow of public, un-orchestrated conversation.

I missed conferences, workshops, Kidlit drink nights, retreats.

I  missed these lovelies, pictured below. 

So I wrote about that.  Only one word of this was overheard.  I'll tell you which one at the end.


Some of the Poetry Sisters
(August, 2010)


I stand, neck-deep
in the rollicking stream 
of an overbooked hotel lobby
bar, my thighs braced,
minnows of gossip 
flicking my hair. 

I order a bottomless
glass of well-water, clear
as rain on the plain; toast
the flash of the bartender’s 
gold tooth as she catches
my words, first try.

I laugh as three fevered 
discussions stalk
the room like rare griffins,
battering dusty tropes
with their ropy tails
and cavernous beaks.

Our voices pollinate
the air, float 
into anyone’s ears; 
maybe we shout
as the elevator opens
like a levy, spilling
poets into the room:
HEY, old friend!

I tell the doctor what 
was wrong: I needed words.
And he doesn’t blink,
a dry-eyed unwilling
phoenix, and say: What’s that?
Your knee is worse?

One day...
One unmuffled day.  

        -----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

With thanks to Mary Lee Hahn, who gifted me with one perfect overheard word: muffled. 

What did my poetry sisters do with this challenge? What did they overhear?  Listen in:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Irene Latham.