In an online writing group recently, I was given two prompts for writing “I Am” style poems. The first prompt was “I write because” and the second “What are you made of.” Here is my answer.

What Are We Made Of

Are we made of stars?
Mud-laden until some kind soul
reveals our light

Are we made of bones?
Ancestors ground to dust
alive in our marrow

Are we made of words?
Thought, language, symbols, making sense
Naming nature to rule it

Are we made of stronger stuff than we think?
Finding that thing within us 
which we didn’t know was there

Are we made of sugar and spice and everything nice?
Fragile, weak, gentle, meek
Everything becoming to a lady

Are we made of snipes and snails and puppy dog tails?
Daring, earthy, brave, strong
Everything becoming to a man’s man

Are we made of flesh and bone?
Muscle, mass, impulse
Just another piece of meat

Are we made of all or any of all those things we use to define us?

And No,
And Maybe So.

We are made of all and none of everything we see, touch, smell, hear, feel, or do. 

We are made of all and none of metaphors and similes we use to understand the human condition.

We are made of all and none of every single thing that came before us, mineral, animal, earth, sky, water.

We are made of all and none of the experiences of our lives, and our parents, our community, our culture, and our world going back for ages past until the first primate stood upright – going back beyond that until the first cell split in two. 

We are made of so much more than we could ever imagine.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

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I Write In

I write
in tops of pine trees
dappled sunlight
sap sticks
between my pencil and fingers
attaches my ponytail to a limb
sweet and annoying
I endure it because
the scent reminds of me somewhere
not as bad as here

I write
in dark corners 
of the house
secret stolen seconds
to write a word
and whisper it – 
Phosphorescence – 
to feel the taste on my tongue –
Phosphorescence –
The phenomenon
of something being
lit from within
An experience I have not had

I write
in open stairwells
fluorescent lamp flickers
scribble thoughts
smoke cigarettes 
where my roommate
cannot find me
she thinks I quit

I write
in bed
cold from a loveless marriage
search for that phosphorescence
I thought would be here

I write
in parks
on benches and grassy slopes
in sun and shade
ponds glimmer 
trees rustle and reflect
inspired light

I write
in coffee shops
the harmony
of conversation
and espresso machines
and jazz music
whirl into my writing

I write
in pale light
of early dawn
before baby wakes
and toddler demands
in sunrise
while girl, not toddler,
and toddler, not baby,
watch Disney cartoons

I write
in rhyme
in rhythm
in verse
in style
indoors and out
in nature and house
in happiness
in sadness
in joy
in despair
in anger
in relief
in forgiveness
in healing

I write in you
and in me
in the space 
and I find the shine within

I write
in the light
of our phosphorescence