Installations number two and three, urban, quickly so as not to attract the attention of a security guard that may or may not take these down when I leave, a little poetry, a little chalk, a few pictures and done! What will be, will be.
Sometimes I forget in all the isolated writing and editing and thinking, that what I do as a poet can be inspiring to someone else. And when I do remember I have a gift worth sharing, then I get hung up on not being a teacher and what can I really say to translate it to someone else. All I really have to do is invite someone along for the process.
Yesterday the process involved sunshine, a tub of sidewalk chalk, some lines from poems about spring, and two little girls who were willing. Thirty minutes later we stood back and smiled at our premier 2014 National Poetry Month installation.
Well, actually, they danced!
Thank you poetry pals… you make my heart sing!!!
The sun came out today so I went out too… with a satchel of poems and plastic sleeves and clips to affix them temporarily to some chain link fence. And the poems I chose for this first in a long time Pop-Up-Poetry install (since Christmas’s “Illumination Installations”) were those that resulted from my most recent forays into FLASH POETRY on Facebook.
Here’s what I did. I posted a “Call Out” on my Facebook pages, asking friends to post as comments their words or phrases, for a given short period of time. Then, when the time was up, I harvested their words and let them simmer for a bit. Each time, serendipitously, a theme arose and a new poem was birthed including all the harvested words (but not necessarily in the same order they appeared or even in their original context). I posted the poems giving credit to all contributors, and then repeated the process. Six times so far. The sixth poem is still simmering at this point.
So far I have “found” and posted five FLASH POEMS in this way of collaboration and creation. “Flash” simply a way to describe the spontaneity and fast turnaround time from call out to post, like Flash Mobs. Facebook as a public, creative medium, and friends as collaborators/co-creators. Flash fun for everyone! (I realize these poems may be disqualified from future publishing, but I really don’t mind. They are already serving a purpose. They are for people. People are reading them.)
Anyway, today I took three flash poems out for a walk and pinned them up at random locations. These spontaneous distributions of words continue to inspire me no matter how or when or why.
Here’s one you might find if you are walking through my neighbourhood anytime soon;
FLASH POEM #2*
by Lesley-Anne Evans
say sayonara? Say
sepia photographs. Remind me
of that day last August
when we lay on the beach, watched
the clouds like Madagascar vanilla
spilled on the counter
at sunset. Where will we find
that fierceness, that turn
into the light.
Quails scoot over my lawn, little balls
scoot into the sunlight. Hey, can you
give me the tutorial, say the fierceness
of Madagascar, remind me
wait a minute
*A found poem taken from words and phrases gathered on Facebook with permission of the following contributors; John Dorig, Jamie Rosanna Dorig, Carolyn Campbell, Loraine Kemp, Kelly Pond, and Danny Richardson. A new context is created within the framework of the poem by Lesley-Anne Evans.
That’s all for now. Gotcha, neighbour!
It has been my joy to install poetic illumination around the city lately. In my neighbourhood, at the mall, the library, the aquatic centre, churches, and homes belonging to people I know to be large-hearted givers.
This week I was joined in a lighting expedition by two bright-eyed vibrant young ladies who have begun to write poetry with me each month. The girls sat at my table, drank tea, and made some beautiful luminaires decorated with perforated shapes and words about light. Then we bundled up and headed out in the night to hang the lights and give back a gift to one very special giver.
What a delight.
From time to time, someone asks why I do Pop-Up-Poetry. They often look slightly puzzled.
I pause, then explain I want to write, and I want to share my words. Then there’s the giddy, excited feeling when I install poems, almost feeling like I’m breaking a law of some kind, and I’m going to get caught. And that appeals to the rebel in me, and to the childlike mystery of taking action and anticipating ripples, like a comment on my blog, or meeting someone who says, hey, aren’t you the one who does Pop-Up-Poetry? And then there’s the taking steps of faith part of it, like doing it not knowing exactly why, but knowing it somehow feels right.
And it’s just FUN! Shouldn’t we all have fun in our lives?
Here are of the more whimsical installs I’ve done this year:
Yes, I know that’s poor grammar in the title!