Welcome to Day 24 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!
Comment on today’s poem to win a copy of my poetry book, “(After) Confession… I’m giving away a copy every day. Scroll down below the poem for more details about this Poetry Challenge.
But first, congratulations, Martha B, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Martha, please email me your address so I can send your prize: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!
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All the art here is from my sketchbooks over the years, some of my “better” work. Believe me, I have so many pages of clunkers and mis-trials, but I’m not brave enough to show those! I’ve learned so much and found the enjoyment in all of it. Any other little-a artists and experimenters out there?
Love at First Art
Like you, I was once a brilliant artist.
Crayons and markers were my specialty.
I spent hours expressing whatever
I wanted, blissfully, colorfully,
art that hung on walls, home and school,
for all to see.
I never questioned my abilities. Talent?
It was fun. I was proud
to show everyone
what I made.
Of course that got fucked up big time.
Comparison and grades and criticism
took their toll. When was it? I don’t recall.
Probably the on-rush of pre-adolescence, when
many unwanted visitors arrived:
doubt, zits, mean girls, braces, bad perm, unease,
body shame, a desire to be anybody but myself.
And then drawing? Not me. I can’t draw.
Writing felt safer, more logical.
I was good with words, black marks on white,
an easier way to express. I loved writing,
so I wrote, my creative outlet, decades of
turning imagination into black marks on white.
But in little ways, my old Love called to me.
I got lured into art stores sideways.
I had children who were artists, and I
passionately encouraged them. I’d buy
art supplies for them, then writerly pens
for myself, sketchbooks to journal in. Yet
I marveled at the rainbow of paints, looked
longingly at tall brushes and bright pencils.
I’m a writer, not an artist, I told myself,
and turned away.
But I kept hearing whispers, feeling urges.
I’d see a sale, impulse-buy watercolors,
a little drawing kit. For me! Then quickly hid them
in a drawer at home, a year or two,
not knowing at all what to do.
Eventually, I took them out. Found
gentle books on starting, teachers,
videos, online classes. S-l-o-w-l-y
started my journey back to drawing, art-making, experimenting.
It’s been a zig-zag of frustrations and joys and starts and stops.
And then the familiar pull back to it, all over again.
Learning that the Doing is the magic-place,
not whether my art is “good” or not.
This is what my heart has been longing to do since I left it.
I still love words, but this fills something pre-words
inside me, and oh so colorfully
helps me express me.
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- I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
- AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
- Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
- I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.
This month’s posts are part of the NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At NaPoWriMo.net, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.
I’m so looking forward to your comments– it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.
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Photo credit: it’s all me, baby