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Ellie O’Leary often writes about growing up in the village of Freedom, Maine. She is the previous host of Writers Forum on WERU-FM, has won the Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship in poetry, and has taught writing at the Pyramid Life Center in the Adirondacks and at Belfast (Maine) Senior College. Ellie graduated from the Stonecoast MFA program in January 2017 and now lives in Amesbury Massachusetts. She works to help others find their own voice, particularly women and seniors who may not have written or shared their writing before.

 

 

In the Morning

I lose the words

of my next poem

even though

I was sure

during the night

I would remember

since they were

so obvious,

so insightful,

that I knew

I couldn’t forget them

until I do,

until I find myself

thinking

where was I just now,

what was that mental note

so brilliant yet

so fleeting, when I woke?

On a Morning Without Music

 

I listen to

my own poetry

without abiding

the lyrics of

someone else

until I hear

the birds whistle

and I’m reminded

poetry comes from

nature not the

other way round.

Poetry Pool

Writing here in

the shallow end of

the poetry pool

my words float

away from me

to no one,

or to someone who

doesn’t read them

as they make

no splash,

no waves,

no sense.

That Poetry Thing

 

  1. Why

You may wonder why I bother,

You may ask - Poetry you say?

You may tell me you don’t do that.

You tell me you don’t have that,

that poetry thing.

That’s my job, I tell you,

I’ll take the responsibility

to organize the thoughts and the hopes,

into stanzas, into lines, for

that poetry thing.

  1. What

I write the threads connecting the stars

I write the primeval password

I tell the prophecies to you

I can only hope you’ll take in

that poetry thing.

That’s my job, I tell you, I write

the voices that are not heard and

I organize the prophecies

take responsibility for

that poetry thing.

  • To Whom

Who listens? – You ask me, smirking.

Who would care?

Who would read these things?

Who would even see this,

this poetry thing?

It’s written and that is enough.

It’s there, like bread, for everyone

Available, like communion,

Partaken or not, we have

this poetry thing.

The Word

Facebook status of a prose writer:

I wrote 1500 words today and then deleted them right away.

Consider the poet.

Sometimes she has to take out

a whole word.

One. Whole. Word.

Sometimes she adds ly or ing

or takes them off or combines them,

lovingly,

and then removes the whole word again.

This could take about a week

working full time or nearly so

with occasional bathroom breaks

before returning to the word.

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Ellie O’Leary often writes about growing up in the village of Freedom, Maine. She is the previous host of Writers Forum on WERU-FM, has won the Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship in poetry, and has taught writing at the Pyramid Life Center in the Adirondacks and at Belfast (Maine) Senior College. Ellie graduated from the Stonecoast …

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