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October 27: Happy Anniversary, PuffOfSmoke Poems

Happy anniversary to Puff of Smoke Poems, one year old today.

This is a chronicle of a year in my life, a year of getting through a divorce, recapturing possibility and lightness of spirit, and rededicating time to puttering around with words, giving them both the fun and the serious time they deserve.
Finding poetry in every day, writing it down, and posting it here has been a great gift this year. Many thanks are due to—

Samantha Bentley of : An apparently now-defunct, or at least on long hiatus daily poetry blog. You were my inspiration to begin, and checking in on your site often provides my inspiration to continue.
My Children: Supremely uninterested in poetry, thank you for being exactly who you are (which is someone who will never, ever want to read their mom’s poetry blog)
My Friends: Both those who know about, read, and offer encouragement here; and those who would be bored to tears by poetry, but keep me company on the road, always handing over the gift of someone to laugh and walk and eat with in this crazy life
My Followers: All few dozen of you, whoever you are. It is cheering beyond measure to know that some stranger out in the world read and responded, in feeling and in comments, to something I wrote. Astonishing and oh so gratifying. Thank you. May I and many other readers return the pleasure to you.

Here, to remind myself, is what I’ve learned from a year of writing and posting poems:
Poetry Saves You. Noticing the world around me, writing a poem every day, reading what I wrote, reading other poets, helped me re-imagine myself into a life, this life, where I write instead of yearning to write, where what I see and what I dream and what I learn simmer together into stories and poems. Where I’m reminded over and over that even the grayest, flattest, most ordinary day can be transformed by making your art. Given time and the respect of showing up when you say you will, more often than not, like loaves and fishes, attentiveness and faith transform your world and grant the gift of plenty —plenty of words, plenty of experience, plenty of joy, and plenty of gratitude.

4 responses »

  1. Your words inspire and encourage. I am so grateful for them.

  2. I’ve been doing a long wander around in your blog, so it’s nice to find out how your blog got started. It’s hard for me to imagine writing such good poems in just a single draft. You are quite a gift to the rest of us, your humble readers.

    • Hi Mary–just saw the meandering trail you made through my poems and let me just say—this is incredibly flattering 🙂 Glad you enjoyed. Except for the anniversary posts, I try to minimize my thinking about/commenting on my own poems and how they are written. Honestly, it’s hard for ME to imagine that I wrote these so quickly and that some of them still look good to me many months later. It’s a weird thing, and I don’t even feel right taking credit for “good” poems—I think the good ones–and there are plenty of so-so ones between–but they all come from the combination of not taking myself too seriously, working when I’m not quite awake and have very limited time, and doing it consistently (except during summers, when I miss lots of days for one reason or another). It really feels like perfecting a great recipe more than anything else–getting the right set of ingredients together after trying lots of other kinds of writing. That’s the closest analogy I can think of. In any case, I really appreciate all your reading and thoughtful comments–it makes me so happy to hear from another poem blogger. Thank you.


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