The Poetry Marathon

13 Aug

Today I participated in The Poetry Marathon. Basically, you sign up and commit to writing a poem every hour for 12 hours (the half marathon) or 24 hours for the full marathon. I decided to do the half marathon because I need my beauty sleep.

I signed up last minute in hopes to kick myself out of the writer’s block I’ve been stuck in. I usually don’t take these things online too seriously, and I proved myself right when I woke up late this morning after staying up late with friends and said “screw it.” It was past the start time and I was feeling too tired and uninspired.

But I really had no plans for the day, so I had breakfast and sat down to write a line or 2. I am glad I did. I am not in love with any of the poems, but it was a great creative exercise. I may even suck it up and do the full 24 hours next year.

So here you go: 12 poems in 12 hours.

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8 am

The sky is bleeding today
It’s a comfort to say the least
Less I run out of words to say

The idea that I can change the world
Feels old and retired
Feeble and expired

Coddled up next to dreams
Barely holding on by life support
Beside kin argues whether to pull the plug
And I am forced to choose

Do I stay or do I know?
Do I leave it all behind in my mind?
Refuse and waste
Allowing practicality to govern

 

9 am

Before I go down to the river
Lend me your hand
So I can understand how
The way your veins run with blood
And how the water runs over rocks
Are the same

 

10 AM

Lovely.

That’s what you said
As you whispered thoughts that have never come up for air
Drowning in your sentences
New and alive
Words melting icicles
Dripping wet in the sun

Good morning.

That’s what I said
And the newness of the day wrapped around us
A blanket covering our nakedness

 

11 am

Billowing questions of worth
Transcend time and matter
As we walk against the wind
Barely holding ourselves up
How can we get anywhere
When questions like this prevail?
How can we make a dent in the ground
To plant anything worth harvesting?
How can we plan for the future
When we don’t know our own names?
How can we bare children
When all is left barren?
When the storm shouts
Deafening us to any other voices
“You don’t deserve this.”

 

12 pm

Little dove
Don’t worry about your destination
Your wings are strong enough
Despite what you’ve been told
You carry the weight of the universe
In your feathers
Yet the upward motion comes
As easy as the rising sun

Little dove
All will be well
Despite what the news projects
You carry the potential for peace
In your beating heart

Don’t let the world bring you down
You belong in the clouds

 

1 PM

Lately I feel it all
Rushing into me
A house fire blazing
From room to room
Leaving only charred foundations
Caked with soot
And I am left standing
Shivering in the ashes
Grateful for the in and out
Of my lungs
Grieving over what’s lost
With the tiniest certainty
One day I’ll rebuild

 

2 PM

I live for the imagery of travel
The journey and the road
That finds us closer to the sun
Away from the cold, dark forest

I live for the endless roads
Stretched out across vast lands
Of my imagination
Winding mountain passages
Going straight to the heart

Come with me as we drive
Windows down
Air freely moving
Into the soul of these words

 

3 PM

Walk with me
And tell me amazing things
Of how you conquered the world
Inside your own head
Slaying those dark thoughts
With glimpses of light
Beams of grace
Illuminating ghettos
Show me your scars
While telling war stories
Of how you barely lived
To see today
Just so you could walk with me

 

4 PM

I feel a relief sweeping through me
Like knowing summer’s almost over
And soon I’ll be able to be outside
Breathing in air that doesn’t suffocate
Like soon I’ll have a place to rest my head
Away from the chaos I create

 

5 PM

I used to imagine the afterlife
A sparkling city with a dark sky
Literal golden mansions
Where flawless people picked fruit from backyard orchards
And bathed in clear waters
Walking on diamond covered river

Now when I do think of heaven
My mind is blank– there’s no scenery
I only picture the immense feelings
Of loving purely– and being loved
Multiplied by infinity

 

6 PM

I close my eyes and drift to a place
Where I am always happy and at peace
Where I am organized and productive
Where my life is shining and clean
Where my book is a best seller
And I travel the world with my babies
Where every word I say matters
Then I stop
Rewind a bit
Backtrack from an imaginary future
To the past
Where I was a scared little girl
With nothing but dreams
Afraid to speak
And that I’d never be enough
And I know
We’ve come a long way, baby
This is only Part 1
The rest of my story will have plenty of twists

7 PM

I am tired but I am here
I just want to be more than here
I want to be present
Fully alive
Available
Myself
I want to be captured by beauty
And be ok in my own skin
To stop overthinking
And really live
Maybe one day I’ll write about more
But for right now
Every line in my poem
Leads me back to this:
Happiness comes when I am fully awake

 

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