Monday, January 26, 2009


While I have the upmost respect for Elizabeth Alexander both in the breadth of knowledge of American history and poetry that she possesses and in her confidence I felt that the “poem” that she read at the Inauguration last week was a piece of beautiful prose gussied up to look and sound like a poem.

I admired her ability to deliver it though. Heck, I was all choked up just listening to the event on the radio, so I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to be standing there before two million people.

Anyway, while preparing to facilitate a group discussion tonight for my Women’s Circle on the topic of mood, I got to thinking what would a poem (hopefully beautiful) gussied up to look like prose look like.

And sound like…here are the results of that experiment.


Blues temper enthusiasm, some days we wake as if returning from a land of unexplained sadness. No one seems to know what we need just then. Expectations get all mixed in with muddle as we muddle through longing, loneliness, enthralled by affection, disaffection.

Somewhere between temperament and emotion our moods reside. Do we hide from ours? Crowds, countries and mountains are reported to be in them. Loved ones stay in bad ones far too long. Romance springs from soft smoky light, the absence of which can bring sadness, sloth.

Moths, do we attempt modification? Chocolate or a walk, perhaps a talk with a confidant used to our vicissitudes? Do we hang on to sweet grumpiness as we push away those who wish to remake our dower demeanor?

Do we shower those near with unruly cheerfulness best left encased in socially acceptable reticence? Could it be something we ate—or didn’t? Maybe it has nothing to do with what we imagine it might. Again, the light, or sleep, or any number of stimuli to our particular brand of chemical soup could be to blame.

We are drawn to that flame. Instead we can choose to greet our guest, invite the sadness or exhilaration in. It only takes a few moments of awareness to brew some tea, then—just be.