Woo hoo! Hip hip Hooray!!! I made it through an entire month of the April Writers Digest Poem a Day challenge. Sure, it may not seem like much to some folks to write a poem for 30 days in a row. However, making time to write a poem daily while also raising a family, working 40+ hours outside the home and applying to graduate school wasn’t easy!
But I love a challenge and I pushed through it, even on the odd topic days (like day # 28 – topic of matter and anti-matter?). The second to last day (April 29) brought back dark, deep memories of a depression I kept hidden in 2008 and 2009. Then the last day (April 30) ended on a funny note with me trying to bury my child’s life-like stuffed animal. Read below to see my final poems.
For Day 27 the topic was “looking back“. This made me think of reflection and past, especially mistakes or regret from the past. But on this day, I felt like thinking ahead. I didn’t feel like worrying over what cannot be changed. Instead I let my mind free flow into my opinion on looking ahead. Here’s what I wrote.
PAD Poem # 27 – Looking Back
All the time I wasted
Looking back, wondering
What if… If I had only…
The past cannot be changed
We are who we are because of it
Idle moments, arguments,
Mistakes, regret and sorrow
I have been a horrible creature
I have been so remarkable
And all things in between
Love, hurt, anger, pride
Could consume me if I let it
Instead I fuel it in my writing
My characters play out the scene
I can write the ending differently
Reflection is a learning tool
Meant to guide us into the future.
Not punish us for what came to be.
Look back, look forward if you must
But look around at the now
Stare at yourself you magnificent being
Embrace what you are and the life you have.
Day 28 brought the unusual topic “matter and anti-matter” for the last Two for Tuesday topics. I’ll be honest, I watched a video about matter and anti-matter before I began to compose. I felt like I needed a science class refresher. When I realized that scientists refer to it as positive and negative, good vs. evil, I began to think of a galaxy far, far away and my words drew nearer to me. Here’s what I wrote…
PAD Poem # 28 – Matter and Anti-matter
The theories of matter and anti-matter
Cause me to transform into the Mad Hatter
These cosmic battles make my head spin
Good vs. Evil, who will win?
One is important because of the other
They explode and fight like rival brothers
Not easy to grasp its positive and negative charge
Or how it all began in our galaxy so large
Together they make up the beauty of stars
Always on the edge of forming new wars.
Day 29 had the writers prompt of “What Nobody Knows“. We were challenged to write about something that no one else knew about, only ourselves. I had a difficult time with this one, at first. I’m pretty open. My life is an open book. I am sometimes too honest and truthful about what’s happening. What could I write about?
Then I remembered how I felt in 2008 and 2009. I was living in a new city and hadn’t made many friends. I was having health issues. My daughter was a few months old and I didn’t feel close with her. I probably had some post-par tum issues. She was sick a lot. I didn’t have her in a good day care. I was depressed. I spent months crying every evening in my car alone. I didn’t share that with anyone. Family and friends knew I was unhappy but I don’t think they knew how deeply sad I was. I didn’t even admit it to myself. But I was. Here’s a reflection of that time in my life. (Thankfully all is well and healthy and happy now though!)
PAD # 29 – My Silent Depression (What Nobody Knows)
Nobody knows how sad I was
From mid-2008 to fall of 2009
I kept my feelings inside
The depression was only mine.
I woke up and functioned
I had a job and a family
But something wasn’t quite right
I somehow lost sight of me.
Every evening I cried in my car
While listening to the song “Landslide”
I would repeat and play it again
Bottling up emotions, trying to hide.
Friends and family knew I was unhappy
But I never shared just how deep
How I thought of nothing felt right
How I could hardly breathe or sleep.
I was loved by those around me
But I didn’t seem to love myself
I would feel sick at random moments
I wasn’t in the best of health.
I don’t remember the exact moment
I came to and began to fight back
But that’s when I began writing again
Sharing my feelings, my life or the lack.
Through my words, I found solitude
I made fun of myself and found peace
I realized my questions may not all have answers
And that was okay; the pain would cease.
I slowly began to let others in
I soon no longer felt so alone
My silence and depression faded
Now life is good, the one I own.
Day 30 – the LAST DAY of the challenge brought another fill in the black topic. “Bury the ____” was the prompt. I was feeling happy about the final poem and wanted it to be funny and fun. So I thought about how my youngest daughter used to drag around certain stuffed animals around the house. I also thought about our old dog who used to chew on them. Then my mind wandered to the film Toy Story and toys coming to life. And that’s where this poem was born…
Please bury the stuffed animal
The one attached to my child’s hip
We should put it out of its misery
So it’s not hanging from the dog’s lip.
That thing is dragged all over the house
I step on it face-down on the floor
My daughter is always asking for it
But I can’t take it staring at me anymore!
The animal begs to be left alone
Or to go live with Woody and Buzz
Not screamed at, squeezed, covered in drool
Or whatever wretched thing my child does.
Was this one we won at the fair?
Or was it a claw machine prize?
I know it wasn’t made in the U.S.A.
It keeps looking at me with crazy eyes!
The poor creature is being loved to pieces
Then it will be forgotten inside the car
Okay buddy, let’s go out with a bang
Before I bury you, let’s have a drink at the bar!
Whew! 30 days of random poems. 30 days of sticking to a challenge. I’m both sad and glad it’s over. I am a big proponent of pushing yourself in new ways. I believe we are only limited by our own minds and attitudes.
So find what you love and do it whenever you can. Pursue your passions. Poem your heart out or find what it is that your heart desires. Don’t give up on your dreams or yourself!