We are all April fools in one way or another. Even the Earth, solid as a mother, is wonky come April. She likes to play a trick or two. Rain and flowers one day, snow and ice the next. A deep frost will kill off those carrots just beginning to poke their tiny green from the ground, but we will plant again. She is only up to her old tricks, at least up here in the mountains. April is not a month you can completely trust, anywhere. Isn’t that something we love about her, though? Out soaking up rays one day, using the rest of the firewood the next.
There are a couple of things you can count on come April: someone will play an April Fool’s joke on you when you least expect it because you forget it is April 1st. And there’s the certainty, if you’re a poet, that someone will challenge you to take the dare: Let’s do a 30 in 30.
Every year about March 15, I start to worry the idea of 30 poems in 30 days like a dog with a slow bowl. It’s a niggling feeling, like you haven’t really gotten all the good you can get out of this exercise yet. On the other hand, like the 28 foot cliff I jumped from into a pool of deep green water when I was 25, I think maybe I should quit while I’m ahead. Once was enough.
I don’t think so, though. I remember all too well the feeling I had on April 30th when I realized it was fait accompli. YAHHH!! Add the fact that a few of those poems were really good, and they got better and easier as the days grew longer (12, 15, 21, 23, 28), and I knew I would succumb again to the lure of writing a poem a day for 30 days.
So here I am and there you are. I am making the commitment. This is the hard part. Whenever I think, “I’m just going to do it and not tell anybody,” I know I’m not serious. I won’t do it if I don’t hold myself accountable. And neither will you. So that’s the first poem you write. The one that holds you accountable. The one you may not show anybody, but also the one you told everybody you would write. The one that proclaims there will be 29 more. Yes, haikus are acceptable. Limericks, too.
I have decided I don’t have to post all mine this year, as I did in 2014. I might, but it’s not a requirement. I know for a fact they won’t all be good. Maybe not even most; hopefully some. Still I have written a lot of bad poems, so I’m not shy, especially if it gets someone else writing. I will post a few hints throughout the month to help you along, should you falter. You can’t fail. You’ll just have fewer poems come Mayday.
Click the link below to read my first effort. This will encourage you and show you for a fact that you have to write some bad, or so-so poems, in order to write a good one. Also, as you will see should you read the poem, I do this partly because I have always been a fool in April.