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Original Poem: "As Cottonwood Feathers Swish" With Commentary

Writing poetry became my major composing activity circa 1962, & Mr. Malcolm Sedam's creative writing class in 1963-64 deepened my interest.

Cottonwood

Introduction and Text of “As Cottonwood Feathers Swish”

My original poem, "As Cottonwood Feathers Swish," affords me the pleasant opportunity of looking back on a delightful event that occurred in my life. A writer's life is filled with hours of writing, yet many writers, especially if they hold down full time jobs do find it hard to cobble together several hours to engage in nothing but thinking, musing, writing, and rewriting. My speaker, in this poem, happily celebrates an occasion wherein she was allowed a five-hour window of writing opportunity.

The poem appears in my collection, Singing in Soul Silence: Voices of Faith, under the title "Boulder." I had to retitle this poem to place if on HubPages because the system used on this site flagged the poem as a commercial for the city of Boulder!

As Cottonwood Feathers Swish

for my sweet Ron

Cottonwood feathers swish around outside the window,
Sometimes galing like a snowstorm.
After a few claps of thunder, the rain came

And then stopped after a few minutes.
I've spent five hours alone in this room
While you attend to your business across town.

The luxury of five uninterrupted hours—
To think, to muse, to write, and rewrite—
Shine like diamonds on a freckled neck.

And I have about three more hours left
Until your welcome return.
We will go eat and shop and explore the village.

I will look for things to put in poems, things
Like mountains or cowboys or the laid-back
Style of the some of the college students.

You'll look for trinkets to take back to the kids
And encourage me to buy a dress or another turtle pin.
Maybe we'll splurge on rich dessert and coffee.

Back at the hotel, we'll maybe take a dip in the pool,
Or just relax and converse in the quiet love we cultivate
For each other—a love that grows far beneath the skin.

Commentary

This little bit of memory-lane discourse plays out in seven tercets. The occasion was a trip to Boulder and Aurora, Colorado. I was fortunate enough to accompany my husband on his trip to attend classes for his job as a medical information technician at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana.

First Tercet: Wind in the Cottonwoods

Cottonwood feathers swish around outside the window,
Sometimes galing like a snowstorm.
After a few claps of thunder, the rain came

This movement reminds me of the townhouse we lived in while Ron was stationed in Aurora, Colorado, serving at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, during his stint in the U.S. Army. There were cottonwood trees whose leaves constantly moved shedding their cotton filaments.

On one of her visits to our village townhouse, my mother mentioned an old adage about winds never stopping in the cottonwoods or some such. A lovely thought, glad I can remember it along with my belovèd mother.

Second Tercet: Time Alone

And then stopped after a few minutes.
I've spent five hours alone in this room
While you attend to your business across town.

As speaker of the poem, I am enjoying some time alone attending to my writing with luxury of several hours all in a row. I report that some rain came and went during those "five hours" I have spent “alone." The simplicity of the setting allows me the luxury of delving to the core of what actually happens as the serenity exudes little memory thought like a sweet perfume.

Third Tercet: Uninterrupted Hours

The luxury of five uninterrupted hours—
To think, to muse, to write, and rewrite—
Shine like diamonds on a freckled neck.

As the speaker then reporting my remembered activities, I liken those wonderful five hours to diamonds shining on a freckled neck. Any writer can identify with having five uninterrupted hours to concentrate on nothing but getting words put down on a paper—or on the scene, as the case may be.

Fourth Tercet: Anticipation of Some Diversion

And I have about three more hours left
Until your welcome return.
We will go eat and shop and explore the village.

To put some icing on the cake, I have three more hours until my veteran soldier husband returns. At which time, I will be ready for some diversion—a pleasant trip including eating and shopping and exploring the colorful little city which we are visiting.

Fifth Tercet: Things to Put in Poems

I will look for things to put in poems, things
Like mountains or cowboys or the laid-back
Style of the some of the college students.

Always the dedicated writer—or maybe obsessed writer—I state that I will be looking for "things to put in poems" as we enjoy our vacation-like business trip. The two cities of Boulder and Aurora seem to conflate for my memory. The nostalgia of a revisiting an abode of temporary residence enlivens the visit.

Sixth Tercet: A Hubby's Encouragement

You'll look for trinkets to take back to the kids
And encourage me to buy a dress or another turtle pin.
Maybe we'll splurge on rich dessert and coffee.

Hubby will look for souvenirs for the kids and also encourage me, the speaker/poet, to buy stuff for myself—what kind of lucky gal am I? The peaceful and easy relationship between my husband and me also informs and infuses these memories with a divinely joyous spirit. Such looking back makes such memories burst with pleasant realities.

Seventh Tercet: A Soul-Refreshing Life

Back at the hotel, we'll maybe take a dip in the pool,
Or just relax and converse in the quiet love we cultivate
For each other—a love that grows far beneath the skin.

Then we will return to the hotel, relax, and enjoy that fact that we have a rare kind of love that affords us a soul-refreshing life. Our journey through life may not always have afforded such tranquil pleasantries, but having lived through the challenges while building on the foundation of love that has allowed us prosper together now offers up memories that make all challenges worth their weight in diamonds and gold.

© 2020 Linda Sue Grimes

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