Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - Birthdays and Beginnings

I've always hated birthdays. Mine was yesterday. There was no party (thankfully), just some time with family and a nice dinner out. I always regretted having a summer birthday as a child, feeling I was missing out on celebrating with friends in school. Ever since going college I've lived my life according to a different academic calendar, so now my birthday usually comes at the beginning of the fall semester. Hey, you get what you wish for. Now I am in school for my birthday and wish that my summer birthday came just a bit earlier!

Today I'm thinking about birthdays and beginnings. What will this new year bring? Let's write about that. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. I offer a "learning" poem for all the students, no matter their age, and good luck for all throughout the new school year. The first link is to the poem, the second to the main page.

  2. We share a birthday! Your day sounds a lot like mine, except we went out to eat breakfast rather than dinner. I'll take breakfast out any chance I get.

  3. Happy Birthday, Tricia!


    Everything Is Beginning

    Everything is beginning:
    this breath, this doubt,
    this cell phone ringing,
    this smile, this curse,
    this better, this worse,
    the glitter of sunlight
    on a splash of water,
    the soft living weight
    of my baby daughter.
    Everything is new
    in this world, every bit,
    every sound, cell, byte,
    every worry, glory, fight.
    The skitter of a bug,
    my walk across the rug.
    The rug's very oldness
    makes it a surprise,
    not the same it was once
    in the weaver's eyes.
    These words are new
    and your thoughts,
    that one, just now—
    it was new. So are you.

    --Kate Coombs, 2010, all rights reserved

  4. Tricia, I wrote this poem some time ago, but it fits this week's challenge. I do hope to write another too. I hope your own birthday was wonderful!

    One Whole Year

    Look at me!
    I'm different.
    I'm not the age
    I used to be.

    Last night
    that number
    I'm older now.
    One whole year.

    Today's my
    Look at me!
    Can you see
    a change?

    I still feel
    the same.
    Growing up
    is strange.

    © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
    (The Poem Farm)

  5. This year's birthday (late-August, like yours) means a new (and old) city for my family and me, and trying to find my footing in a place that does not quite feel like home.

    Dear Dallas,

    Nearly a decade has passed since I fled
    your potholed streets and stony store clerks.
    I'd buried a daughter and a marriage here,
    and I didn't look back.

    A new town welcomed me, all warm-red brick
    and tall live oaks thick with dove.
    There, church bells rang out hymns
    four times a day. My daughter played
    with neighbor kids until dusk.
    Random old people struck up
    conversations in the grocery line.
    It was impossible to be lonely.
    I married and began to laugh again,
    grew stronger, stood taller, felt safer.

    But now, against my will and
    because of it, and to do what is right
    (because that's what I do),
    I've come back to you, Dallas.
    Temporarily, I remind myself,

    My first week here, I wore my shell
    and invisible weapons,
    icy stare and shoulder chip
    weighing me down.
    Yet you are somehow softer than I remember:
    Gentlemen hold open doors,
    receptionists call me by name,
    you are filled with people who are just plain

    Sure, I expect the bottom to fall out of my car soon
    because of your bumpy, neglected streets,
    and that blonde woman in the Mercedes
    cut me off in the carpool line this morning,
    almost side-swiping a teacher-on-foot in the process.
    But the teacher smiled and mouthed, "Thank you,"
    when I stopped to let her cross in front of me,
    and the AT&T guy was nice enough yesterday.
    Of course, he'll bill me for that.

    -- Stephanie Parsley, 2010

  6. Oh my, Tricia. I am sorry I missed your birthday, because it is truly a day to be celebrated, in my opinion.

  7. For Tricia:

    Maybe older,
    wiser too;
    perhaps a bit bent,
    but more true.
    Certainly wrinkles
    where none had been,
    you get more of them
    when you are thin!

    Maybe older,
    nicer though;
    perhaps forgetful?
    I don't know.
    Here's a cup,
    put in the best
    and file this birthday
    with the rest.