Attending a writing workshop is a good way to learn something new, be reminded of things you already knew, but had forgotten, and to awaken the creativity inside that may have fallen dormant. Yesterday, I was fortunate to spend the day at the CWG 2016 Fall Writer’s Workshop at Chattanooga State Community College learning from award winning poets Jeff Hardin and John Mannone. Hardin said poems can be place driven—just visualize the location. Some people like to write the title first, some make a list of words. Address poems permit us to speak to people or things around us, which can give a new perspective on a situation. Mannone encouraged us to use magic words that would accomplish a slam dunk emotion and allow the story to continue to live off the page.
I was inspired to write the following poems.
To the Man Who Wants to Butter his Steak on Both Sides
By Vickie McEntire
I cannot help you breathe.
You grab your chest with one hand, and
Slap your clammy forehead with the other.
I sit motionless.
Trying to process.
You push the red canister, more than once.
I count three times.
That is how I’m helping you.
My internal counting does not help.
You have the strength to fumble with the hose
That delivers calm into your life.
Am I dreaming?
I do not console.
I wait to see if you will live.
When you have caught your breath,
You finish your sentence,
“If you slather both sides of the steak with butter while it’s still warm,
It’s so much better.”
You lick your lips as if you can taste it.
“No thank you,” I say.
And I stab my broccoli with my fork.
To a Lonely Moon Rock in My Garden
By Vickie McEntire
Keeping the dirt in its’ place.
I see you in my garden
With your diamond studded face.
Fall’s fading flow’rs remind me
Of the hands that first lay hold.
“What you got there? Let me see.”
Held up to the sky like gold.
The truth I could not tell him.
Your gravel status I raised.
Many times he has retold
How you landed there that day.
You sparkle now in moonlight.
For a new hand you await.
Hang in there lonely Moon Rock.
A grandchild will come this way.