Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

The Poetry Workshop (poem)

I venture out to the poetry workshop.
I sit in the meeting room
At a long rectangular table
Crowded with poets.
I wonder if the others notice
That I am naked,
As transparent as the picture windows
On the wall opposite me
Blasting the white glare of autumn sunlight.
I listen quietly.

The instructor–warm, wise,
Who knows something of life–
Tells us about the crow
Who sits on our shoulder
Holding us back from writing honestly.
She says we have to knock the crow
Off our shoulders.

She says, “Write a poem
About something you are afraid to say.”

I feel the crow’s weight
And think,
“My crow is a vulture
Who eats me alive every day.
We live symbiotically.
He is my identity.
He looks like my ex.”

I tell myself, “I can survive.”
But I should say,
“I can do without that damn vulture.
We don’t have to be joined at the shoulder.”

I should knock him to the ground
And eat him for dinner,
And not worry about
Who would I be without him.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2012


Comments on: "The Poetry Workshop (poem)" (49)

  1. I loved that! See you soon.

  2. oWooo! Yes, nakedness is exactly right! As for the crow/vulture–we are not condemned like Prometheus and it is possible that–come to the showdown–the lion would lay down and kiss our feet just like the old tale says. But you first, after you . . .

  3. Like I said the other day, this is powerful! I love it!

  4. galenpearl said:

    Writing what you are afraid to say reminds me of what a Buddhist teacher was told by her teacher. “Go to the places that scare you.”

  5. Anonymous said:

    Nice poem. Open and exposed. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautifully and fearlessly expressed, Adriene. Your teacher told you well.
    As always, love your writing, my friend!

  7. You have a nice fluid style. I liked it.

  8. parashuramPoet Desh said:

    intelligent wordplay using the ‘crow/vulture’ image. Whether ‘crow’ or ‘vulture’, a poet always overhears himself but real poem comes when he looks at himself as a total stranger.
    -Poet Desh

  9. I really liked the imagery, especially of the crow that’s really a vulture. And making that last statement about not worrying about who you would be without him, very nice. Not sure vulture meat would make a good meal though, lol. I wonder, would it taste like chicken?

  10. I love the imagery of a vulture on your shoulder. I suppose we all have some bird or the other on our shoulders and we should all strike it down and eat it for dinner.


  11. I believe that without that ‘crow on your shoulder’ you would be free and uninhibited to truly be ‘yourself’; without walls. Excellent poem!

  12. Very fluid style. I like it when you said that you were ‘naked’.

  13. A – I think you just did that – knock that soul-sucking vulture off your shoulder. Every time you feel his presence read your own words to remind yourself that he (or she) is only doubt manifested without cause or purpose, except for to destroy that which makes us glow – our passion. The fact that you are able to articulate your emotions and harness the energy on the page tells me you have the power to knock that ole crow off your shoulder. Anyway, beautiful stated.

  14. I love how you not only knock him off your shoulder, but eat him too. 🙂 Great poem.

  15. Beautiful…every word of it.

  16. An excellent piece! I can really relate to it. 🙂

  17. What an eloquent way to describe facing our fears. I still have that damn crow/vulture on my shoulder. =P

  18. […] D. Joyce presents The Poetry Workshop posted at Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, saying, “This poem actually was the result […]

  19. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

  20. Dangerous Linda said:

    Love this! I felt a similar way at Yoga class today. Open. Exposed. I hope I do this right and don’t embarrass myself too much (even in front of myself)! But, also excited and pleased about taking care of myself. G-R-O-W-I-N-G! Living life fully!

    Looking forward to working my way through the Carnival and ‘meeting’ some new writers!

    I would like to share this at https://www.facebook.com/DangerousLinda

    • Selcuk Cetik said:

      “GROWING Living life fully” I love it.
      writing reading,listening music,meditations.to be inside of life.and to be in love,makes you queen of life. write every body “leave your ambitions at vestibulary” before read my poems

      I am happy to sharing with me.you and your mind

    • Much appreciated, Linda. The only way to grow is to step out of our comfort zones, at least that’s the way it is for me. Way to go on your yoga classes, keep it up! And please do check out the contributors to the carnival. They are always consistently fantastic!

  21. I love it –I relate oh so very much! As I was reading, on the inside I was screaming –me too, me too! Excellent….

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