Velcro, Cottonballs, Muse

EMC over Boston

Okay, so I know I have written before about my yoga teacher, Erica Magro Cahill, and how she says things that get stuck in my mind like a cotton ball clinging to Velcro, which then leads to a poem. Or ten. Usually about yoga, because, duh, yoga teacher. But not always. One turned out to be about Odysseus and two are meta, being about the ways in which the things she says end up with me writing and/or changing. Here is the beginning of a sestina; note the end words, which come from something she said back in December:

In the crash and tumult of the year’s end, hearing the heart’s

Voice is difficult, especially if it is a shy, halting voice

Unused to asserting itself. So many other things are louder:

Car engines, sirens, the mind insisting it’s more important than

Everything else. As in an echo chamber reverberating, the mind’s

Insidious messages bounce back and forth against the bony walls

Of the skull.

And here is part of the Odyssey poem based on her phrase: “The intimacy of a beating heart inside your beautiful skin…” The phrase “muscle hugging to bone” also comes from her.

The percussion of the human heart, its calm

And agitation, how it pushes blood through

The body, emotions through the mind. Just as

The x-ray bypassed skin to show muscle hugging

Bone, to introduce me to my trembling heart,

So too, sometimes, do the songs we sing

Bypass the outer shell, however beautiful,

To speak quiet comfort to the fearful, feral

Cornered self within another body contained

In skin, the reverse of Siren song.

And this, which I wrote last week:

Because of You, I Carry the Sky Everywhere with Me

for EMC

your phrases like cirrus clouds

belie the true weather

grey, it may be, and

cold or raw or wet

and roaring

but inside my head the weather is

clear, the sky robin’s egg

blue, traced with fragile willow

buds and yellow and

clean, like early summer

almost a year I have listened to

your wisdom, your poetry

scudding across my wide blue

mind, chased by gulls

who also desire

outside, everything vibrates, frantic,

tidal: few sail through serene,

sails up, prow unwavering

few speak of these things

clearly, or at all

I have tried to learn to speak of that

particular wind that drives me

how to sail through

the roar, not

your way, but mine

to offer the wisdom and passion

I have for this one

thing: the words

and the heart facing

sky, our only ship’s compass

3 comments on “Velcro, Cottonballs, Muse

  1. abubhaji says:

    I dig your post and poems. Your inspirations remind me of a belief I hold regarding us all finding our own poetry, poetry based on life experiences, experiences sure, emotion yeah, but also words and phrases that are the poetry of life that we encounter too, to a certain extent (coming from someone that writes a lot of silly poems). I imagine what I am writing here is a bit obvious (we write what we know, right?) but your post is a refreshing reminder to that notion and you’ve taken it a little further than most, here. I dig that. Right on. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. abubhaji says:

    ah see, then I read your “about me!” so, ya know what I’m a talkin’ about! Glad I found your site. Cheers ~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A fresh writing !!! keep going

    Liked by 1 person

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