One of my little pet projects recently has been poetry. Reading poetry. Creating poetry. Noticing poetry in unusual places. Writing poetry down. It's one of those little lights I was talking about.
I can't remember a time when I didn't write poetry, but like so many things, it seems to be something that I did in waves. When I am particularly moved by something, a poem is likely the way I express it. It's what I did when my parents divorced the 80's, what I did to give voice to a romantic dream in my late teens, what I did when I was frustrated with a job that sent me spiralling downward, what I did to capture the small, perfect everyday moments of having babies and young children.
Not all poetry makes it to paper - often giving it expression in my head is enough. But some does. For a long time, haiku was my friend because it is short and time is scarce, and I still love the way haiku freezes an instant and lets me hold on to it.
I don't sit down specifically to write poems. They can't be caught that way, but rather materialize out of nowhere...a random line here, or a complete thought there. But when I do let the poetic muse overtake me, it doesn't take long. Poetry, when it hits, is easy. Oh the time spent on getting the right word choice, perfecting an image, the craft of moulding a poem...that all takes time. But getting in down, writing it out, is usually a pretty fast process for me.
I had a few floating around. So when I saw a local contest hosted by the library, I entered. When I won in October, it sparked something in me. It's what I wanted. To write poetry. More of it. Every day. Poetry should not be an occasional whim, but a way of life.
I decided to write poetry every day. Small, big, good, or bad. I was going to find something to write about - whether on paper or in my head - on a daily basis.
And so the poetry files began.
* You can read my winning poem here. It's actually just the first two sections of a longer poem, but I cut it down and combined them into one to make the line count maximum.