All Things Poetry, April 26th

Imagine for a moment living in a society where poetry is a part of the mainstream rather than residing with an obscure artistic subculture. Where it would not be unusual to find street poets reading on  corners, in front of supermarkets, or at local fairs. If you could regularly hear spoken word poets in coffee shops, perhaps alongside musicians to help create a deeper atmosphere. See more frequently poems combined with images  in photography, or collage. Poems exhibited alongside paintings in art galleries.

After all, poetry is strong stuff. It can make you laugh, cry, cause people to throw their arms around you in appreciation.Why then do we not work harder to have fun with poetry, to make it more accessible.

This is the spirit of Poem in Your Pocket on April 26th. The message for this day is beautiful: keep it simple! It can be as easy as selecting a poem, carrying it with you, and sharing it with others. The League of Canadian Poets has many creative ideas on how to celebrate this event.

I am thrilled to have one of my poems selected for the League’s 2018 booklet. Here is my offering:

Joans poem in pocket

Swamp Zone” by Joan Conway
from the 2018 Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet

That summer the swamp was our world
I rowed with my sister
among bulrushes and pond lilies
waxy cups, a floating garden
flat disk of leaves
platforms for dragonflies
black veined wings
iridescent in sunlight.

That summer my uncle fried up frog legs.
‘Just like chicken’ he declared
them sitting on a plate coated in flour
at night I dream of slippery bodies surrounding the cabin
throat pouch ballooning taught
vociferous croaking call missing partners.

My mother would stretch out
on smooth curved rocks
sunning herself
rubbing lotion on her creamy white thighs
wet and slippery
my uncle massaging oil onto her back
laughing down at her
and told us kids to go play.

In the swamp zone searching for frogs
how they would lie perfectly still
if you stroked their belly
legs dangling open in some private rapture.

Where I crouched
stranded amongst the reeds
long taper of leaves surrounding me,
closer to shore
roots left high and dry
by the end of that summer.

Let’s imagine that we can bring poetry to the forefront of our society. Lets keep it real.

About Joan Conway

My artistic passions are poetry and collage. But I am curious human, always exploring new mediums, new opportunities for creative expressions.
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16 Responses to All Things Poetry, April 26th

  1. Cheri says:

    On the eve of the day my friend was born
    a poetry holiday is begun!
    The spirit of words sprouting
    like the newly minted leaves
    a shimmering green halo,
    A balm for sore souls.
    Happy PIYP day to you!💚🌱

  2. Joan Conway says:

    Beautiful Cheri, my heart smiles as you carry the conversation so poetically forward.

  3. Harold says:

    This is awesome in so many ways Joan. Congratulations.

  4. Exquisite! Congratulations Emma Joan! xo

  5. lizmax2014 says:

    Joan, that is beautiful..I read and re-read it..swampy undertones….I’ll carry it with me today…congratulations for being included in the League of Poets!. heady stuff…I’m have a bit of a disconnect and had to check my calendar..all these posts are dated for this afternoon, which as far as i know is yet to come,being only 8:47 on the island, but maybe we slipped into a different time zone? possible, perhaps with a poem in my pocket….love from Liz

    • Joan Conway says:

      Rhank you as always for your deep appreciation, yes, a poem will certainly add a new dimension to the day. Love to you

  6. Kathleen says:

    Incredible imagery Joan, I find myself responding to the words on many levels, sensual and intellectual. I will carry this poem today and enjoy both the laughter and nostalgia invoked by Swamp Zone.

  7. Sheila Peters says:

    Thanks for this lovely sensory and emotional experience, Joan. Made my day.

  8. kfullerton says:

    Yes, I can imagine the resurrection of poetry, art, beauty emerging from the wastelands of the industrial age. Love, love, love your poem offering and the poems in the booklet. Congratulations for being selected/seen/heard in ever widening circles my friend.

  9. rebecca says:

    Love the image of stoking the bellies and private rapture… what a contrast between this experience and frying up frog legs, let alone oiled human legs suntanning … how would you know that frogs lie perfectly still by stoking their bellies with a patient touch of tenderness, curiosity and connection..thanks for sharing!

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