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Poetry from the 3:15 Experiment: nothing to tag a poem on

November 9, 2009

August 13, 2009 3:15am

I am going to fall bthe hand that greets you on a door at the castle Monsarazack to sleep
before I choose to write anything

Bits & pieces of ideas float
but no words have form nor weight

There’s nothing to tag a poem on tonight
it’s all fog; not even the foghorn is solid

Only one eye will stay open at a time
The cowboy boots a cold pool of water

There will be another day
& the pen will come clip clopping

Insistent like a thunderstorm
Consistent as the summer fog

Above is a poem from the 2009 3:15 Experiment where poets from all over the world awake at 3:15am every night in August to write and then in the following month to post unedited their hypnopompic/hynogogic ramblings.

Although I had plenty of sleep last night and should be all caught up after my adventures in Portugal, I am feeling overwhelmed by it all just as during the 3:15am experiment I am at times overwhelmed by the desire to sleep. As much as I’d like to, I have “nothing to tag a poem on” when it comes to writing about my recent trip to Portugal.

And I admit I am feeling melancholic as well. I wish I was still there, breathing with the pace of the land and the people. They say that time is slow in the Alentejo, like what I call mountain time, when you slow down to the pace of the breath of the place.

I wish that I had taken the time last week to figure out the logistics so that I could have spent a few more days in Portugal, to let my experiences settle a bit, to write, to sit quietly in the countryside, or by the sea, or within a castle’s walls, before I had to go home. At the very least, I should have looked a little more deeper into the opportunity to attend the Wine Futures Conference in Rioja on Nov. 12 and 13, to have tried harder to stay for another week, to have trusted my family and my students would be taken care of.

I am used to traveling at a different pace–by foot or by VW van, used to camping at night and sleeping close to the land.  I am used to navigating the town, the trails on my own. Don’t get me wrong–I loved the hotels we stayed in, especially in Evora at the M’Ar de Ar. What a pleasure.

But it is a different pace, a different experience when you spend most of your day outside in a place, smelling the air, crushing the herbs between your fingers. The moon was full while I was there in Portugal, shining its light upon the cocoast near Sintrark oaks, castles, and Roman monuments, but I never got a chance to gaze on the stars, my ancestors hanging out in the sky there, watching, protecting, the same but different than at home.

I wasn’t ready to leave. I feel like I was torn and part of me I left behind with my yoga pants and my cashmere sweater, some tears of laughter, my footprints on stone pavement, my fingerprints on castle walls. The soft “sh” sounds of the Portuguese language soothes, echoes in the memories of the wine caves at Carmim and Borba, soft like lapping water of the Tagus along the waterfront of Lisbon, the hush and crash of the waves on the westernmost point of Europe on the coast by Sintra pictured above.

Wish here, shush, shush, the voices whisper, wish here, shush shush.

The quiet shushing voices wash away the fears, wish for my return. I will be back, I tell them. And not just in my dreams.

For more poetry, catch a ride on the Monday Train.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 9:08 am

    I really like both of these. Your 3:15 hypnogogic art (the voices spoke to you, did they?) and your accompanying prose.

    I hope you had some of the Bolo rançoso, in Monseraz, seeing as how you were there in autumn…

    But, as I commenting, 10 days after last week’s poetry train took off, let me say that I am delighted that I came by. What a find.

    And you a vedic goddess dancing through the wheel of existence, if your picture is anything to go by. Nice work. Thank you for sharing this with us all.



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