Tribute to Walt Whitman / caterpillar poets

Another Walt Whitman poem I wrote can be found here. I’ve read very little of Leaves of Grass but am inspired by Whitman nonetheless! Peace to your !


Tribute to Walt Whitman
who revised Leaves of Grass repeatedly until he died

Sculptors of marble chip and chip away.
Potters knead and shape their lumps of clay.
Poets create, through words alone,
What never cracks, is never set in stone.

caterpillar poets

Oh, to be a Whitman!
   They digest Leaves of Grass.

Living day by daydreams…
   these, too, shall pass.

Eating, dreaming, dying—
   without flying.

Poem title from chapter 58 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

the blue socks

everything depends
upon

the white socks
not being beside

the new
blue jeans

in the washing
machine.

Poem title from chapter 54 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.


This is not the first time I’ve riffed on William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow.” My thanks to him. Peace to your !

abracadabra

Pick up your wand.
Tap your black hat.
Say the magic word.
Pull out a…cat?

Put away the wand.
Get rid of the hat.
Make Abracadabra
The name of your cat.

Poem title from chapter 48 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.


I now have a grandcat, as my two daughters living in Chicago have adopted a black cat they’ve named Bean. 🐈‍⬛ Peace to your !

a sengsong pot of possibilities

This lump of clay on the wheel—
   Under the thumb of the potter,
Will it become a vase? A cup? 
   An answer begins to take shape.
The wheel hums; the potter hums. 
   Ah…the pleasure of taking pains.

Poem title from chapter 59 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

“The pleasure of taking pains” is from John Ciardi’s How Does a Poem Mean? and perfectly captures how I feel about writing and revising poems. Peace to your !

bring me magic

1952: 	Sidney Rosenthal’s Magic Marker appears
2003: 	Procter and Gamble’s Magic Eraser appears

1975:	I scrawl my name 
	        On the kitchen wall of shame
	        And try out a few
	        On the guinea pig, too.
	        Like magic, the markers disappear.

Poem title from chapter 31 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.


Of the 60 poems I wrote for my poemcrazy project, this ranks as one of my favorites. Not a true story–I don’t recall ever writing on the wall, and we had hamsters instead of a guinea pig (the first named Tina, and the second named Tina 2, who turned out to be pregnant when we bought her, so we soon had about 7 or 8 baby hamsters we had to give away). Peace to your !

being visited by words

What is it with the word today?
It’s come and hasn’t gone away.

I’d like to entertain a thought
And have some sandwiches for tea,
But it’s simply out of the question
When I have other company.

It’s not that I don’t have the space.
It’s a matter of being able
To speak with conviction without
Another word at the table.

Yesterday today stayed here
And will tomorrow, too, I fear.

Poem title from chapter 53 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.


Peace to your !

who were you in my dream?

I longed for a knight in shining armor
And dreamed of an overall-clad farmer.

It happened again the following night:
I dreamed of a pastry chef dressed in white.

Firefighter, postman, a surgeon in scrubs
Were only a few of my dreamland flubs.

When at last he appeared, my gallant knight,
He mouthed dream on and vanished from sight.

Poem title from chapter 39 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.


Peace to your !