Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

Morning Train

Morning Train

We went out before the rain and were glad. The morning train was whistling, crossing the trestle over the river. It was a short walk and home to phone calls, the pleasure of helping two writers work on their scripts for Our Voices, the play festival I produce. I woke up thinking about being in a bit of a stuck place with my poem, and went back to revisit the point of inspiration: A Sharon Olds poem from “Stag’s Leap,” her Pulitzer Prize winning collection. This summer, in Vanessa Jiminez Gabb’s narrative poetry workshop she gave a prompt, based on Old’s poem, “Last Look,” to write a poem about a last look at something. That was the inspiration for my new poem, “Heaven and Earth,” which was first titled, “Last Ride, First Peak.” So, I’m just letting her poem percolate in me again before I go back for more revision. But I also found this other narrative poem, also about her divorce, “Last Hour,” that I want to think about as well, because the first stanza of my poem also begins with a physical embrace at the center of the narrative. Someone in my workshop suggested that I might not need this first stanza, and my mind is open to this idea; but I can’t imagine going forward without it, so I have to figure out what it needs in order to work.

Suddenly, the last hour
before he took me to the airport, he stood up,
bumping the table, and took a step
toward me, and like a figure in an early
science fiction movie he leaned
forward and down, and opened an arm,
knocking my breast, and he tried to take some
hold of me, I stood and we stumbled,
and then we stood, around our core, his
hoarse cry of awe, at the center,
at the end, of our life. Quickly, then,
the worst was over. . .
— Excerpt, Sharon Olds, "The Last Hour"

All photos and text ©Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed

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