Drafting: “Lapis”

Over the past week, I’ve been thinking to myself, “I should write a poem. That would be a super nice thing to do for myself.” When the stress of writing study guides and exams for my students worked its way into my chest and started squeezing my lungs, I’d think, “Write a poem, fool! It’ll help you breathe!” Still, like any good sabotager, I’d yell back, “NO! Must finish this study guide! Must unload the dishwasher! Must dust the clematis blooms out front with Sevin dust!”

This morning as I was sitting at my kitchen table with my journal in front of me, the thought came back to me, and I finally let go to that voice and wrote a poem. It’s amazing how wonderful it feels to let go, but how often I struggle against doing just that.

I was in a myth kind of mood, and Apollo jumped easily to my mind, so I looked him up. Scrolling through his background story, I got focused on a picture of his statue, and there arose the poem idea: a god that lords over stone (Hephaestus/Vulcan is really the god of stone/masonry, but who’s counting?).

It begins,

“To be a god of stone is to remember
hunger and desire lie in what moves,

& nothing moves in a stone body.”

The rest of the poem focuses on what a god of stone would know and understand vs. what he would miss (touch, movement, seeing in color). It’s sort of a weird hodgepodge of details at the moment, but it has enough potential to be reworked into something a bit more fun. I’ll say too that I’ve been able to breathe a little better since I wrote it!

The summer is nearly here, folks. Let us all be kind to ourselves during it!

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