I took an old prompt and did some stream of consciousness writing. Interesting the things that hide out in our sub-conscious.
I started with a list of eight words and a task. Being a (sometimes over) achiever, I relish the accomplishments of tasks. So I set about this challenge with gusto.
As I have often said, poetry is one of the more uncontrolled writing options. Deep inside of each one of us, there are feelings and thoughts that we seldom give voice. Too often we bury how we really feel in exchange for what is expected of us to feel, or we respond how we are expected to respond by our circle of family and friends.
These words, and perhaps the book attached to the words, brought out some feelings buried just beneath the surface. I have spoken and written before about my complete disgust with platitudes. Too much of my childhood was spent listening to them in sermons or from well meaning members of that religious community. This poem reflects those feelings.
You can try this kind of stream of consciousness writing, too. I highly recommend everyone journal in some way. For me, it can be as cathartic as a good therapy session. (Sorry Kelly.)
Here is what you can do:
Grab the closest book.
Go to page 29.
Write down 10 words that catch your eye.
Use 7 or 8 of those words in a poem.
For extra credit, have 4 of them appear at the end of a line.
My word list included these gems:
Once you have gathered your list of words, see what they say to you and put your pen or pencil to the paper or your fingers to the keyboard and start writing! I hope you enjoy the process as much as I did.
Let It Go
Suck up the sorrow like a sweet
slurpy through a straw, head resting
in hands as if to catch the pain.
Let go. Empty yourself of need.
Go on, give in, concede body
mind and spirit to the Spirit—
It is the Lord’s will after all.
He is Sovereign over our pain;
we are supersaturated
in the spirit and strong-shouldered;
we are weak-kneed, walking wayward.
We are walking in the true light;
Let go. Empty yourself of need
go on, give in—concede body
mind and spirit to the Spirit.
It is the Lord’s will after all,
for God is in control, sister;
and he will never give you more
than you can bear. You can trust him
with all your heartbroken pieces.
You need to trust in letting go
and letting God. No one else but God.
But you see, I stand here alone,
in pain, and straining to maintain
any remnant of dignity. How?
Tell me, how did we believe
all of the crazy platitudes
undermining good common sense?
How is grief less of a burden
thinking that it is for our best,
believing that God allowed this
pain for our growth and his pleasure?
I let go of sorrow, let go
of dignity in heaving sobs
with incoherent words that say
just how much I don’t understand.
I stand up, cry out, stamp my feet
shout out loud how ruthless and cruel
life can be. I don’t shout at God;
I acknowledge the suffering
and let it go. I breathe out and
release the pain; but when I can’t,
I concede. There isn’t always
a reason—don’t suck in, let go.
—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan