Dying Continents…

by Robin Byrd

Yesterday, I attended a wonderful webinar hosted by Hedgebrook, “Exit Strategies: How to End a Poem” with Chet’la Sebree, author of Mistress, Field Study. Ms. Sebree generously shared her jewels and knowledge with us. The atmosphere was inviting. Community in Hedgebrook webinars is really comforting and uplifting. To write together is nice once in a while. We learned more than “endings”. The webinars are recorded and there is always a “holding space” segment after the webinar where the participants who can stay have more time to discuss the art or any other things with the instructors. This is the part that makes the community so comforting and inspiring.

We worked on exercises using poetry that we had already written or new pieces. Below is a new piece that I started in the webinar but seems to be evolving. Poetry has been something that I have written and read all my life; something I make a point to continue to study – it never hurts to work on craft.

Dying Continents

The earth shook ferociously
Tsunamis terrorized the coastlines
Whole towns destroyed
Whole futures washed away in an instant

When things shift
There is no time to steady yourself
against the moving tectonic plates forcing new terrain
Or time to gather the energy to do more than stand

I am bound to the memory
Of the theft
Of things that cannot be restored
Or salvaged
Of organs failing
Of bleeding out damned spot

We wait for endings,
songs and measured grace
Grace to cover
Grace to continue
Did we forget
Or simply let it go

They say there is a new continent
Built on the scars
They say there is new contentment
In unchartered lands
New content
In place of what had been

by Robin Byrd 2-27-2021

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