The storm system has moved in as promised. I'd like to say that we are at the edges of Typhoon Songda, but that's not until Saturday. Today is just a normal storm. 

I've been thinking about how difficult it is to really define Poetry. Yesterday someone said that they heard once in a workshop that language is poetry, and poems are about lines. That makes some sense to me. Another mentor once told me that poetry is the base of all writing, that everything starts with poetry. 

A poet once told me that all language is unnatural, that its ALWAYS about translation because we are always trying to communicate what is in our consciousness and words just don't really cut it. Hence the need for music, or movement, or ways to stretch language to its fullest capacity- like poetry. This felt closer to the truth to me. I think poetry is a way of noticing, pre-verbal, occurring in those moments when you are present. 

From an evolutionary standpoint, the language centers of our brain were some of the last to develop. Since none of our most basic instincts are in any way connected to spoken or written language, why is it that words can wound us so mortally, sticks and stones and all that? I think its because we are still hardwired for communication, linguistic or not. Even our reptilian brain, our brain stem, reacts with the most ancient of conversations- fight or flight. 

Be gentle with your words to others, but especially to yourself. Think poetic thoughts about yourself as you sashay down the street, down the hall, where ever you might have a chance to boogie. I myself have been known to cut quite a rug from an office chair. You are bewitching, you are a superhero, YOU my friend, are a poem. 

With that in mind here's my favorite definition of poetry from some extremely magical 9th graders in Ms. Work's class at Gresham High, spring 2016.


Poetry is both the sun on the horizon
and the sunset on the coastline
It’s a person crying out for help
Writing poetry is like walking
it comes naturally
Poetry is a lost thought of your childhood dog
Poetry can take any form it wants
Poetry is the words you forgot to say
your secrets revealed in a beautiful way
Poetry is that moment when you wake up
and want to tell someone your dreams
Poetry is your audible thoughts
when you are tongue-tied
Poetry is the life in the brain
And the spark in the light bulb
Poetry is home
Poetry is the picture
flowing through your mind
Poetry is the kid who is always bullied
but becomes more successful than anyone
It’s the moments where it’s too much
when you’re too happy or too upset
It’s the feelings that can’t stay inside you
Poetry is the song you listen to
that makes everything hurt a little less
Poetry is old shoelaces strapped on to new shoes
because you’re convinced they’re lucky
since you got first place in a battle of the books competition while wearing them
Poetry is the flow of low tide
Poetry is smart people writing down stories that are very vague and don’t rhyme
Poetry is the wind blowing through the windows on a cloudy hot day
a present on your birthday
that you thought no one remembered
Poetry is the color of grass in the summer and the heat of the sun
Poetry is waking up to a road full of snow
Poetry is laying on your back in the snow
After racing your best friend down the hill on sleds
looking up at the falling flakes
Poetry is the rough draft of your music
Where you can enter your own world
And live freely
What you won’t let your body say out loud
Poetry is what is hidden deep down
Poetry is the tunnel to the deepest darkest corners of your mind
It’s what keeps the light from shining so bright it blinds you
It’s the dull light at the end of the tunnel
Poetry is the language of our hearts and our minds
written and not found until searched for
Poetry is the building designed by the architect
all of his thoughts and ideas put into one building
where people can see what he wants them to see
Poetry is a mask covering the face of the monster inside
A fire burning inside your gut
A beautiful light in a dark room
A symbol of you
Poetry is the light from the moon
that never leaves you
An invisible hand
Your touch on the world is poetry
Poetry is everything