A day without drama or excitement or good/bad news, just Vincent & I hanging out. Vincent (aka My Little Petri Dish) has a cold, so he’s subdued and amenable to quiet reading & coloring time, which suits me perfectly any day (I have latent reclusive tendencies), but especially today — a poem’s been bubbling around in my head, and it’s about time to siphon it from mind to paper.
If only it was that easy! Quiet day off over, and all I have are 10 lines to show for it. 10 very nice lines, 10 lines I’m rather pleased with, but still not a full poem. Sigh. I work altogether too slowly.
Because what sounds easy and natural when you’re reading was of course nothing of the sort for the poet who wrote it. This poem by Kate Gale, from her collection “Selling the Hammock” (1998, Red Hen Press), is a fine example:
The Orange Balloon
An orange balloon floats against the sky
let go by a small boy’s hand
the hand is unimportant here
it is the balloon on which our happiness depends
or is it the sky?
vast untended full and empty
clouds way too much feeling
but it isn’t the sky where our eye rests
it’s the small box of blue space
around the orange balloon
the space in which the balloon
moves wallows breathes
this box of blue is your space we say
it defines you
and the clouds drift sideways
the drifting takes years
it takes forever
To me, that balloon floating away is a poem. Sigh. 10 more lines tonight — is that overreaching? Well, yes. But I guess that’s the point.