Friday, May 31, 2024

Poetry Sisters in Homage to Body Parts and Lucille Clifton

This month's challenge was to write in the style of Lucille Clifton while paying homage to a body part, as she does in the poem homage to my hips. Our Zoom call was a week early this month, allowing for time off for Memorial Day weekend. We all bumped up against body image and body weariness (a much better word than age) issues. Considering our bodies in this way was deeply humbling.

After many stops and starts on poems about various body parts (feet, calves, ears), I have two drafts to share. I haven't mastered Clifton's tone, but it was fun to try.

homage to my brain

this brain is a big brain
not genius big, but
packed with Jeopardy categories'
useless facts big.
this brain is a science brain
a nerdy brain
that muses on temperature and pressure
and the solubility of carbon dioxide in water
when soda goes flat.
this brain is a pessimistic brain
sometimes apocalyptic brain
filled with existential what-ifs
prompted by social media
and doom scrolling.
this brain is a noisy brain
a disobedient brain
refusing to quiet
standing in the way of
a good night’s sleep.

homage to my feet

these feet are powerful feet
they have marched
in formation and run
hilly miles. these feet
are expressive feet
oozing with joy in
going barefoot in the grass
dipping into tepid pools
soaking in a warm, salty tub.
these feet are pilgrim’s feet
climbing mountains in Tibet
or walking the serpentine
path of a labyrinth
every step a meditation
and prayer. these feet are
political feet, walking miles
in communion, standing
up for people and
the planet.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2024. All rights reserved.

You can find the poems shared by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

    Would you like to try the next challenge? In June, we’re writing poems about wabi-sabi, with Wabi-sabi as the title. In Andrew Juniper's book Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence, wabi sabi is defined this way. 

    Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Taken from the Japanese words wabi, which translates to less is more, and sabi, which means attentive melancholy, wabi-sabi refers to an awareness of the transient nature of earthly things and a corresponding pleasure in the things that bear the mark of this impermanence.

    In his book Wabi-Sabi Simple, Richard Powell described wabi-sabi as a philosophy that acknowledges a lifestyle that appreciates and accepts three simple truths: "Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." Will you write with us? Good! You have a month to craft your creation and share it on May 31st in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!  

    This week, Janice Scully at Salt City Verse is hosting Poetry Friday. I hope you'll take some time to check out all the poetic things being shared today. Happy Poetry Friday, friends!


    1. Tricia, I feel like my brain has walked alongside yours! Mine is also disobedient, noisy, and is at this very moment standing in the way of a good night’s sleep. Thank you for providing it with some lovely poems and beautiful imagery to settle it down for the night.

    2. I am married to a brain like yours that does not stop and cannot sleep. Smart and witty during the day but spinning at night. I appreciate how you have played with form with both of these poems, the placement of the words on the page with intention.

    3. Tricia, I love your brain and this poem about your brain makes me smile! Thanks for the wabi-sabi invitation, too. xo

    4. These are SO YOU, Tricia -- so honest and funny and also earnest and powerful. I appreciate your feet and your brain so much.

    5. Love them both!! Haven't seen your feet, but have always admired your brain. :)

    6. Tricia, these are great homages to your big brain and powerful feet. I can imagine a whole collection of your body parts in this style. My favorite is "these feet are pilgrim’s feet" and where they have walked with you in pilgrimage. (I've made a note about the wabi-sabi poem. That is an interesting challenge!)

    7. Oh, wow. Bless you and your political feet, Tricia! And your entire brain poem. I extra love all those short /i/ sounds in: this brain is a pessimistic brain
      sometimes apocalyptic brain
      filled with existential what-ifs . Something so immediate and intimate about them. I have a poem about my ankles I was working on a few months ago. When I get back to it, I'll carry your foot poem in my own brain :>D

    8. I've seen how much you love to run Tricia! It's wonderful that you've paid homage to your feet, all the blessings for their support of you! And that ending for the brain, perfect for many, including me, my "disobedient brain", and "standing in the way of
      a good night’s sleep." Sometimes I tell myself (I guess it's my brain!) that whatever my thoughts, I'll do that tomorrow! It helps to have a plan, te he!

    9. Three cheers for your nerdy noisy brain and your powerful feet!

    10. Oh, I love the disobedient brain that refuses to quiet! I'm afraid that is me to a T... Such is the stuff of dreams?

    11. I love all of the sensory details in your feet poem! Wow!

    12. "a disobedient brain
      refusing to quiet" — Oh, wow, can I relate. :) And huzzah for your feet and all they have accomplished/will do!

    13. Trish, your first poem makes me wonder how many times my brain has been "disobedient" and a disrupter of sleep patterns. Sometimes, it sneaks into our inner thoughts and causes dismay. I like your perspectives on this month's prompts.

    14. I like the affinity your feet have to unite with nature and the different walks of life they take you on Tricia. And yay for nerdy science brains, thanks for all!