I have been doing the PAD Challenge every year since 2010 and this year will be no exception. Because many journals have fairly strict rules about what is considered prior publication, I stopped posting my daily drafts on my blog and took down the drafts for the first years when I did blog it. I still draft though, and April tends to be a very productive month because of it. In honor of poetry month then, and as a supplement to the PAD Challenge, I will be posting a poem a day, poems that have either influenced my writing or that I just plain love. Here is poem one, a poem I chose not only for its influence on me and others, but as a good poem to remember my cousin Rick by on the day of his funeral. “Wild Iris” by Louse Gluck is from her 1993 collection, Wild Iris. I give the Amazon link for the book here in case readers want to buy the book, always a good idea in April or any other month. Amazon reminds my that I bought this book January 24, 2001, which was during my MFA coursework. The book and this poem still resonate.
The Wild Iris
At the end of my suffering
there was a door.
Hear me out: that which you call death
Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.
It is terrible to survive
buried in the dark earth.
Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.
You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:
from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.