Last year during this time, I was still on my old blog with Word Press. I didn't post a poem every day, but I did make an effort to write one every day. I enjoy the lower stakes of that, as some poems just need to take seed in my notebook before I return to them.
So, I don't have some grand project or commitment this month. My only goals are as follows:
1. To check out the daily offerings at Ethical ELA's #verselove
2. To make my debut with the Poetry Friday group (hosted this week by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.)
3. To publish one poem a week
What I like about this, is that one can lead to two and two can lead to three. It keeps things simple and low pressure. What I don't want happening is a repeat of March where I focused more on my side project of slicing instead of my main writing project of finishing my novel. I don't need to focus on poetry... and yet two days in and I've already written two poems for #verselove and one just because.
I won't share both here, but I think it's fitting to kick off this year's poetry month by revisiting a poem from my old blog. This was in response to the first day of #verselove and the Shadow Poem prompt.
A shadow poem can be a lot of things, according to host Stacey Joy's explanation on Ethical ELA, but what I took it to mean was that using one poem, you look for it's shadow. I liked the idea of revisiting a poem I previously wrote and thinking about the shadows of that poem.
When I think of shadows, I like to imagine the monsters and other creatures that lurk there. I remembered pretty clearly a poem I originally wrote last year about a small town in Louisiana that already had some creepy vibes. I’ve taken out some of the words — hidden them in the shadows — and what’s emerged is the monster I was alluding to all along. I like how much more creepier the poem became using this strategy — it was fun!
Original Poem: A Forgotten Town
"Shadow of a Forgotten Town" by Erica Johnson
the right time
to see fields and fields
but little else.
patches of rural
that break up the stretch
a place to rest.
I don’t mind
all that seems
to be a colony of bats
and the king of
audacity of this declaration
find signs of life
in this ghost town.
Between the tower
no signs of
just the remaining bat s
all a town of undead
hiding from the sun:
Your town may be next.