Thursday, July 8, 2010

when death comes

We spent time today at the GKCWP talking about teaching and poetry with Glenn North, the poet in residence at the American Jazz Museum here in Kansas City.  Glenn was amazing and a wealth of great information.  He had us do a writing prompt based on the poem "When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver.  Here's what I wrote:

when death comes like a strong wind
when death comes like a headache, dull and fuzzy and only slightly uncomfortable
when death comes like being carried out to sea with the undertow
I want to step through the door full of clarity.  I want to see clearly for the first time things that I’ve questioned all my life
and therefore I look upon everything as catalyst for that journey.  where the reasons for my actions are clear and the actions themselves are meaningful, if only to myself
and I think of each life as remarkable. alone. sort of like realizing at last that I’ll never really know what’s going on in your head
and each body as a vehicle. a machine. a treasure chest.
when it’s over I want to say, “that was worth every single day”
when it’s over I don’t ever want to wonder what I missed
I don’t want to end up with regret.

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