My First Poetry Workshop

I found the address in a flyer
A poet’s workshop, in my city
I called the number, learned the drill
A prompt, the word Oracle.
I determined to attend
then changed my mind
every time I sat to write
Oracle? Daunting,
the task mocked me.
What made me think
I was a poet, anyway?
Where did I get the audacity
to go public with my amateur scribbling?

Dissatisfied with my oracle poem
I took a few more along, just in case
I played the role of frightened neophyte
so well I bored myself as well as the others
On the second round, not knowing how it worked
(I provided no copies)
I read a dark tome reflecting a moment
experienced during my vigil
at the deathbed of my mother
I stripped down to my soul, naked
shaking, sweat trickling down my face
I read
and when I got to the last line
I heard the roar of a collective GASP –

My heart flew, it began to sing
they got it, they heard me
the horror of the moment reflected
in the poem translated
and relief washed over me
a validation having nothing to do with
a judgment of good or bad
but connection –

That was the day I knew
A poet is what I am
and it is what I’ll always be
even on the doubting days
when I don’t seem to know it.

The oracle poem I wrote was about wanting to be a poet. There was a line about being a “wanna be poet” or something trite and it was riddled with “please just tell me it is okay for me to do this,” which of course was a mistake. I had never shown my work to anyone before this, so this was a defining moment I’ll never forget. I never returned to the workshop… no one’s fault. It was mainly that my mother’s death was so traumatic for me it took a very long time for me to recover and have remained very private with my words ever since (about 13 years) showing only a select few until I started this blog over a year ago, on a dare by my son. Then I discovered the on-line community in July and I’ve been having so much more fun with it and have been soaring ever since. I can honestly say that poetry has saved my soul. By the way, I’ve never posted the poem I read… I was later told it wasn’t a “real” poem.

This poem was inspired by the prompt at Poetics: First Times @ dVerse</a>