Things to Do in 2018
(Copyright Sally Murphy 2018)
As I mentioned earlier in the week, my focus word (or is it a guidance word?) for 2018, is Flourish. I want to flourish this year, and I want to help others flourish, and I want to do things with a flourish. So, what better way to start my Poetry Friday posts, than with a poem and a post about flourishing.
Interestingly, my first every Poetry Friday Post, three years ago was a New Year post. Since I wrote that , I have been a regular part of Poetry Friday but not always consistent. Like many members, I have come and gone. Life has got in the way sometimes – so some of those periods of absence, I was busy flourishing, busy with career stuff. Other times, life was hard, and finding time for blogging took a back seat. But every time I got back to Friday posts, there were people there welcoming me back – commenting on my posts, or sharing wonderful things on their own blogs. And each time I’ve realised that I’m part of something big, a flourishing community of poets from around the world.
One special thing that the Poetry Friday community does is to organise poetry swaps. In these, participants are given a name (or two) and asked to send a poem to that person, via snail mail. My comings and goings have meant that I’ve never participated – I always seem to have missed the call outs.
Until the most recent two. At last, at the end of last year, I took part in the Winter Poem Swap. Of course, it isn’t winter in my part of the world, but that didn’t worry me. I duly sent a Christmas themed package off to my recipient, Keri, with a poem about the very fact that she was in cold and snow and I wasn’t, and some other goodies. And then – hooray! – I received a package of my own, from the wonderful Irene Latham.
Here’s a picture of what was in the package:
The thought Irene had put into the package made me teary. She used my new profile picture as an inspiration for the poem:
with a simple twist
a new world
twirls into focus,
sets hearts a-whirl
in a blur
(Copyright Irene Latham)
Isn’t that awesome? The significance of the pouch is also special. Irene had read my posts about ‘old’ poems and poem-hoarding (which so many in the poetry Friday community related to), so she sent me a pocket in which to hoard my poems. I plan to fill it with tiny poems, starting with the poem-stone. I also plan to fill the notebook with poems, of course!
Thanks so much Irene. This is why I am part of the Poetry Friday community – not for the gifts, but for the friendships which flourish! I have the gift on my desk and every time I see it, I am reminded of the magic way that poetry brings us together.
The second exchange which I’m participating in is the New Year Postcard exchange. This time, it’s a poetry postcard. I wrote my ten cards on New Year’s Day, and they’ve been sent off across the seas (or the skies, really, since that’s how they’ll travel), connecting me with ten other Poetry Friday members again through poetry. And, as cards start to arrive in my mail box (I’m watching it eagerly!), I’ll be reminded again that friendships flourish through poetry.
So, I look forward to being a more regular contributor to Poetry Friday this year (I’ll even be hosting the round up for the first time in February). It’s become an important part of my identity as a children’s poet – and, though I’ve only ever met two of the other members in person (yes, there are two other Aussies!) – it’s the friendships that make it so special.
I hope you’ll flourish with me in 2018. Happy New Year! For more Poetry goodness, check out the other Poetry Friday posts. This week’s round-up is at Reading to the Core, where, coincidentally, Irene’s new book is also featured.