Practicing play

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A day ago I was having a chat within a poet/editor group on LinkedIn. I was sharing my current state of angst over an inability to land a theme or structure for a new collection of poetry. The wise woman I was chatting to said “don’t forget to play” or something like that. Which took me by surprise, her suggestion that the opposite of work, productivity, achievement, might be what I needed.

So, I listened. Only three days before the end of National Poetry Month I “remembered” playing. I prepared some little poem bits, this time from a collection of fridge magnet poems I wrote a few years back in another dry spell, and out I went. Here’s how it looked.

In a couple of days time I’ll go out and collect the poems that are left, but I’m hoping they have been found and taken. There is sometimes an uncanny alignment with what is written and what is required. In the past some people have shared their meaning with me. Some have said nothing. Some poems have no doubt been thrown away, or gone soggy in rain, or hung on for weeks. If you read some of my other posts you can share the stories I’m aware of.

And I felt a little lighter in spirit when I came back home, which is a sign of playfulness, I hope. I wish the same for those who find the Pop-Up Poems.

Happy NaPoMo, my friends,

Lesley-Anne

Unexpected feedback

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Today it has been dull, it rained, the wind has blown in gusts, and the sun has shone and is shining still. I didn’t really know if the installation was a good idea or not, especially since the papers won’t last if they get wet. But I went out anyway when the rain broke and the sun came out and it was invigorating.

And this moment signifies the turning point, from creative idea to purpose. Because as I continued to walk and hang up little slips of paper with little bits of poetry on them, suddenly these boys rode up to me.

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They seemed friendly enough, so I said;

Hi, I’m just hanging up some poetry.

Oh yes, we know, they said, we’ve found about five of them already.

Oh, I said. I’ve hung about 20 of them around here.

Well then we are going to go find some more, said the older one, no more than 10 or 12.

I was flabbergasted and amazed as I imagined these young boys finding (and reading!!!) poetry at their age! What do I know, but I certainly didn’t think they’d be interested. I was completely enthralled by them, but didn’t want to get all sugary and scare them so I asked if I could take their photo and they agreed.

On I went, heading home, a couple more poems in my hands. By the time I reached the end of the road, suddenly they were beside me again on their bikes. I jumped.

Sorry, he said, I didn’t mean to scare you.

That’s OK, I said.

And then he said;

Thanks for the wonderful adventure!

WOW!!!! And I may have sounded a just a tiny bit gushy when I said (with what I imagine was a huge Cheshire cat smile on my face);

It was really nice to meet you guys today, and you really made my day, and thank you for looking for my poems.

Truth is I felt like crying, like singing, and I think I may have floated back up the road to the house with his words playing over and over again in my mind. Wow, finding my poetry was an adventure.!?! I never would have thought that. Thank you, boys, thank you so so much! What kind of parents raise these kind of boys? What a joy! What a refreshing connection!

Here are some photos of some of the other poems still out there…but you’ll have to hurry if you’d like to have an adventure too, because the wind is picking up again.

This poet’s heart feels particularly fond of boys today.

On purpose,

Lesley-Anne