You can read some of the genesis of my poetry postcard project in my first post in the series. My e-friend, artist Sherry Richert Belul, was sending gifts out to others for her birthday. She was kind enough to send a pick me up gift to my daughter, who'd had a rough day.
|Sherry sent my daughter this lovely book|
to cheer her up after a less than great audition.
There are many groups that distribute poems in your pocket during National Poetry Month. (I keep one of these cards, the Lucille Clifton poem "Blessing the Boats," in my wallet.)
Here is a video about the Poetry Foundation's annual Poem in Your Pocket Day.
And I was familiar with a wonderful imagined-postcard poem by one of my mentors, Clarinda Harriss.
Clarinda Harriss retired from Towson University in 2011 to devote more time to her writing and to BrickHouse Books, Inc., which she has directed for 40 years. Her most recent books are Air Travel, Dirty Blue Voice and Mortmain, and, with Moira Egan, she co-edited Hot Sonnets: An Anthology. Her collection of short stories, Lady in the Other Bed, is forthcoming in 2013.
"Postcards From the Beach" was first published in Little Patuxent Review's Summer 2011 issue.
Postcards From the Beach
by Clarinda Harriss
You wouldn’t recognize me,
I’m so changed by salt, soak
& sand. So thin. You’d love me
this way. I’ve let my hair grow.
Lolling among the bright-striped This side
fish I can see it swimming like for address
a sea creature, near, not part of
me. Did you get the gift I mailed?
Those are pearls that were my eyes.
--Love, Bill S.
You agreed I should have been
a pair of ragged claws. Who knew
how soon I’d be scuttling sideways
on an Atlantic floor? The sea change This side
bothered me at first—a cliché, really— for address
till I heard a salty love song and I
knew it was for me. Later I slept,
spent, in hard blue arms. Thanks for
everything. –J. A. P.
Beside this muddy cluttered sea,
the moon illuminates my straits as if
it were a hole cut in the sky. It lets
an acid rain of light eat into me. The
waves roar like distant guns among This side
the look-out towers beached by two for address
world wars. Oh, Love, if only you
were here beside me, at this unopen-
able motel window, looking home.
Think of my project as a poem for your mailbox.
|The postcard messages look like this.|
One of the delights was an original postcard poem. It is, in part, a found poem -- using messages written on the backs of read vacation postcards. What a cool idea for a found poem!
by Linda Baie
Postcards tuck the past,
into happy moments:
reflection, vacation, imagination.
This was traveling,
in new places.
In by 8pm to our cabin,
crossed the divide,
blinding rainstorm, but
it was lovely, lovely.
Dear Aunt Jo,
We are out here visiting family
having fine weather, off to Long Beach this am--
tell the kids hello.
The memory of my day
follows me through
the beautiful Mediterranean.
I'm sure a sore beat-up woman--
no cast yet . . .
Enjoying end of our vacation,
picked a bucket full of beans.
The black dog in our neighborhood
was over for her handout. Reminded
So many jobs to be done. Don't know
where to start.
It was a nice vacation.
Emma and Edgar
Tell Mildred Hello!
Posted with permission of the author.
I wonder where Emma and Edgar went for their vacation.
Special thanks to poets Clarinda Harriss and Linda Baie for allowing me to post their takes on the postcard poem form.
If you'd like to read my most recent postcard poem, it is "You Can't Get My Goat." I will post poem #8 tomorrow -- just 36 more to go!
Renee LaTulippe is our Poetry Friday host. Check out her blog, No Water River, for the Poetry Friday blog roll. And then go back and take a look at the wonderful resources and classroom activities Renee is developing for classroom teachers and librarians.