Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer.
Our guest editor for April is Wendy Brown-Baez
Click here to read Wendy Brown-Baez’s thoughts on how poetry groups provide inspiration and support during difficult times.
I met Christine Mounts at the Mid-town Writers, a group for generating writing in short bursts that has been meeting on Saturday mornings since 2007. Along with Diane Pecoraro, also a regular at Mid-town Writers, our friendship blossomed as we got together for meals, attended live readings, and showed up at open mics such as Barbaric Yawp, Bird’s Nest, and Poets & Pints, and events hosted by the League of Minnesota Poets.
Christine Mounts has a quirky droll sense of humor and a gigantic heart. She volunteered to edit and publish a collection of blog posts written by a mutual friend of ours as he was dying from cancer. Popcorn From the Void turned out to be a more extensive project than she had imagined, but she persisted. The book is now available on Amazon. She herself has cared for family and friends, hands on physical and emotional support. Her poems are observations from that wisdom of how the fragile and the ridiculous and the enduring are all part of daily life. She also has the unusual gift of being a left-brain problem-solver and right-brain creative.
In Christine’s poem, we begin with the brilliance of sunset and a child’s moment of awareness that life is full of possibility. The poem then reflects on adult reality: we need to finish school, find work, provide for ourselves. But eventually the poet returns to the yard to watch the eclipse, and something shifts. A change in perception, a shift in how she looks at her life and a suggestion of a new awareness that gives her a way to move forward.–Wendy Brown-Baez
1st grade report card note: “Too much daydreaming”
It is the end of a spring day,
end of the school year.
Chrysanthemum orange sun
sinks into the western horizon.
I have no idea where my parents are,
why I am standing near the large oaks,
at school, looking out past the dandelion fields.
But what I understand in this moment,
after all the years of travel
blessed by my nomadic father,
Out there was freedom,
beyond the world of my youth.
At that age, I was without an answer just yet.
How I was going to get to this other place,
was a journey far less starry than my eyes.
I fitted the harness and plow,
education and hard work,
so busy trying to break free
from my circumstance,
I had no time for dreams.
Sun receding to the Pacific,
never in motion.
I was stuck to a rotating planet.
Our collective definition of time,
always pushing toward tomorrow,
away from the light that called me
out to the yard.
I will lay out in the night once more,
away from city lights and alarm clocks,
to await the eclipse of the moon,
Earth’s red smoke shadow,
Our whole unlikely existence,
I will see what was always true.
My life wherever I am,
is as happy as I say it is.
Christine Mounts writes, travels, and cycles as much as she can manage while still working. “I’ve been told I am a funny gal with a big personality,” she says. She is the author of Book of Snark: Wit & Wisdom for the Angry Professional Woman on the Bus, published October 2020. She is the editor of the post-humous memoir Popcorn from the Void: Observations, Manic Kvetching, and the Raw Truth of Leukemia, from the blog of Todd Park, published in July 2017.