A Poet Prepares to Read

Only one more light
before I turn left, then right.
Ten more seconds to decide –
Which lines will it be?
What feels right on this Friday eve?
Mind searching, scanning
for the feel right poems.
This one, too long.
That one, too sad.

Love is the answer that came to me,
just before the light turned green.
Of course! Love is the theme
all month long.
Embrace it.
Bask in it.
Soon, the month of Love will be gone.
That settled, I drive on.

The front lot is full, a different scene.
I am late.
Heart racing.
Love and a late arrival will do that to me.
I sneak through a side door and find a back row seat.
Other poets and writers, I celebrate.
Then it’s my turn to speak.
My boots have heels, that disturb the peace.
click, click, click, click, click, click
I am not embarrassed.
I enjoy the rhythm and sound they make.
My entrance, filling the silent space.

Mic lowered, I introduce myself to hidden smiles.
Only eyes, staring at me.
Then I read two Love poems from my scrolling screen.
Then another from my second collection
before masked strangers, now friends, depart.
Pleasantries exchanged –
poets, writers, musicians, and audience members
more human than when we came.

Mask off, breathe.
Drive into the dark, breathe.
Sunroof open, breathe.
Inhale, notice, see.
Senses delight.
Stars shine brilliantly.
A poetic night.
A vibrant tapestry.

Last Friday night I participated in my second poetry reading, hosted by a west valley Art Association (WHAM). It was a night of connection and needed escape, away from my computer screen, during a two-day writing conference hosted by Arizona State University. Thank you for visiting and reading my poem about reading poems.😉 Be well. 💗 Michele

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

87 thoughts on “A Poet Prepares to Read

    1. Thank you, Kym. You are too kind and generous. I scribbled these lines early this morning, during the twilight. Yes, it was a rush to get there, but enjoyable. Engaging with uplifting people (face to face) is a treat these days. 😀 I am happy to read you have enjoyed open mic experiences. I am sure those in the audience delighted in your words. Have a wonderful day and week.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This sounds like such a wonderful experience! I’ve only ever read poems online, so I know I’d be nervous as hell doing it in ‘real life’ but I know I would love it too – and to meet with and exchange ideas with other writers and artists would be so enjoyable! I’m pleased you had such a great time, and recreated the experience for all of us! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a fun night, yes. Thank you, Ingrid. 😊 The host writes response poems to each poem read. In other words, while each poet is reading their poem he writes a response to their poem, then reads it after. It is quite entertaining and amazing. 👏 Thank you for reading my recreated experience. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your poem about reading poems! Especially the following lines spoke to me clearly – way to beautifully own the space!!

    My boots have heels, that disturb the peace.
    click, click, click, click, click, click
    I am not embarrassed.
    I enjoy the rhythm and sound they make.
    My entrance, filling the silent space.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for loving my words about trying to decide which words to serve. 😆

      That reminds, Nick… how can we apply that same process to our our empty page “Empty Page” poem? 🤔

      It was a fun evening of music and words, and love, of course! 🎤👏

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dwight. I did feel joy, once I made it to my seat. 😆 It is joyful to connect with like-minded people. Our writing blog community gives us a sense of that. Community gatherings in-person are so rare these days, it was nice to be “out” on a Friday night. I would choose a poetry reading with writers, poets, and musicians over a noisy bar any day, or night. haha I look forward to the next one in April. I appreciate the local art organization making efforts to safely keep people connected. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for recognizing that. I think the message is more important than the length of the poem and with short attention spans, short poems can be very effective, so don’t let that stop you. 😀🎤 As a veteran high school teacher, I have had practice speaking to packed classrooms and crowds, although sharing my own work with my students always made me a bit uncomfortable, but I thought it important for them to hear my “voice,” my examples. I never shared love poems with them though. Awkward. 😁

      John Cooper Clarke is very cool. 😎 I am a fan. I used spoken word in the classroom whenever I could. I had many favorites. Two that come to mind can be found on a TedTalk. I recommend them if you are interested. Rapper and poet, Akala did a talk on Hip Hop and Shakespeare 💓 and Malcolm London presented a brilliant poem titled, “High School Training Ground.” Thanks for the visit and for reminding me of a witty and entertaining punk poet. 👏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I started doing poetry reading in 1986. In Ann Arbor. I didn’t like them at first. Were Poetry bashes. I enjoyed reading the poetry in California and Texas. No contest, just kindred people reading and listening to the words. Now in Michigan before the Coronavirus. I read three time monthly. It is fun to read and share our work. I hope you had some fun dear Michele..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your poetry reading journey with me. I found it interesting to read about your different experiences, based on regions. Hopefully you can pick it up again when the become available to you. So many things we will enjoy getting back to. Thanks for the visit. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How beautiful the final line of this piece is! I feel like this would be me if I ever faced a room, if my voice was in charge of putting my inner feeling into my words. Breathing would, I think, carry me through.

    My favorite connection with this poem, though, is the way the heels of your boots clicked in my mind. I have an addiction to walking up and down in empty halls in heels so as to listen to the very satisfying sound I make. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love that final visual too. It can mean many things, but I wrote it to describe the street lights, the stars, colors whirling by, the eclectic group of readers and musicians, and the music playing in my car – all blending together at the end of a fun night.🎶 🌃✨ Your heel clicking description is funny and awesome. I love that too. Power walking! haha
      Thank you, Jaya. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Cindy. The experience and the organizers are a gift. I look forward to the next poetry reading. I am sure we will still be greeting and speaking behind masks, but for a few moments I can take mine off and share some words. 💓 Thank you for stopping by and sharing yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: a Poet Plans a Party (audio) – My Inspired Life

    1. Thank you, Don.
      I am pleased to read you like my writing style. Sometimes there are many layers to peel and some reading between the lines. I do love writing and sharing in this creative space. 💓

      Like

      1. Thank you. I appreciate your feedback. 😄
        Inner dialogue retold in a poetic poetry reading tale. I attended another poetry slam a few weeks ago. I was a few minutes early this last time and I did not wear boots. 😆

        Like

      2. clip clop clip clop……no it’s not a horse…….two boots, one heel needing repair to match other giving clop clop clop clop….or is it clip clip clip clip?

        Disregard him, he’s mad……

        So was Spike…..

        Liked by 1 person

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