Each time I lift my pen from the paper
there’s a break in transmission,
a lost signal.
Grab a can of seltzer from the fridge,
listen to the birds outside my window –
if I tune in a second longer
I might understand their speech.
Reach for a tissue to wipe my damp nose,
decide it’s time to practice Neti,
feel warm salt water rush through my sinuses,
as if swimming in the ocean,
even though I’m hours from the sea.
See in the mind’s eye my son and his friends
camping at the beach – he’ll let
his shoulders burn without me
around to nag about sun screen.
Greenhouse gasses, polar bears,
no solid ice floes to launch
their seal hunts, three hundred
years from now maybe all
mammals will be blistered
from ultraviolet rays,
and cockroaches will drop from poison
ivy grown as tall as trees, will enter our
homes, build nests in our walls,
crawl over our unmade beds.
Humans, cats, and dogs will have
burrowed underground or escaped
to the moon to protect their skin from burns.
And still I turn my antennae toward space,
scribble hieroglyphics in a notebook.
I wrote a twenty-minute free-write with the idea in the back of my mind of what I do instead of writing. It was inspired from a poem Michelle McGrane shared with me, and also from different comments I’ve read on poetry blogs about people feeling sort of blocked, myself included!