Benches!

DSC05510ROMP recently received a grant for outdoor benches. The benches will replace all the mismatched and falling-apart chairs that I have used since we opened. They will be great for our poetry and storytelling events around the fire and also when we have guest speakers and other outdoor events.DSC05511

They are currently just lined up near the museum entrance, but they will be easy to move and arrange however they are needed. Next event is May 30: ROMP Wildflower Day. Come take a wildflower walk in the pasture, read some wildflower poems, write your own, and have a seat on a new bench in the beautiful natural surroundings.DSC05512

Also, be sure to come out on July 10, when ROMP will host Oklahoma’s newest poet laureate Ben Myers for an afternoon on The Possibilities of Poetry.

The grant was from the Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative. Thank you NEOC!

April 4 Birthday: Maya Angelou

maya-angelou

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

–Maya Angelou

NOTE: In honor of National Poetry Month, each day a person’s birthday will be celebrated with a poem about or by him/her. The poems come from all over the place.

Here’s Your Poem

recorderPOEM LIFE premieres this Saturday night, March 21, at the VFW in Locust Grove. Here is another post about something you will experience in the show–the chance to have a personalized poem composed on the spot and taken home with you. If you follow ROMP or know the activities I get up to, you already know what poem-in-a-minute is about. You give me 3 words you like or want to see in a poem, and I type up a poem on the spot with those 3 words somewhere in it.

Instead of typing poems during the show, I will have a segment where I cassette-record 2-3 poems for people. Yes, I have moved up in the technology world–from manual typewriter to cassette recorder. It will be quicker to compose the poem and say it straight into a recorder, rather than to type it–though I’m a quick typer . . typist.

Over the years, as a poet, I have discovered my true calling not in the typical poetic endeavors of publishing poems, teaching them and holding poetry readings (all heroic endeavors) but in creating experiences of poetry for other people. That’s the strong teacher side in me coming out. My family has a long history of accomplished educators, and though I occasionally throw in the towel with teaching, I always come back to it in some way.

Poem Life and the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry itself have been ways for me to bring together the celebration of poetry with the facilitation of its practice in the lives of everyday people. Poems-in-a-Minute has been one way I’ve extended this philosophy of poetry as experience–having performed at many festivals and venues. Though I no longer strive to have my poetry published (other than on this website), I cannot not be a poet–a wise woman told me that once. I just want to be a poet for other people.

Come to the show, ya’ll!

There will be a $100 door prize drawing and other fun surprises.

–Shaun Perkins

 

 

$1.00 a Song

andy

Andy Bartosovsky

During my POEM LIFE show, there will be a segment (a crime) where I offer up a series of poems that are reinterpretations of the Psyche and Eros myth. One of the poems in the cycle is called “The Return,” and in the show, it is the last one. I have two versions of this poem, one I wrote as a regular poem, the other with the thought in mind that it could be a song.

Both the poem and the song are featured in the show; however, I’m not a songwriter, singer or musician, so I managed to find someone who put it to music for me and sang it. That would be Andy Bartosovsky, a friend of a friend from Facebook who lives in Alexandria, Virginia. (Social media is truly good for many things.)

You can listen to the song at his website, and please send a little payment his way.

Thanks, Andy! The poem is perfect for Poem Life, and I look forward to playing it for an audience.

–Shaun Perkins

 

438 Poetry Patrol: Spoon

DSC05312Stainless approaching the ditch, not in

it, not in the road, that nowhere land of fried grass

and pancaked beer cans. Oh spoon,

who dropped you? Why? You are a good spoon,

great ice cream scooping size, perfect

for hearty Rice Krispies and Cheerios eaters,

too large for drugs, too small for serving size.

I will find a home for you.

It is what I do.

–Shaun Perkins

Road 438 is the one leading to the museum. I routinely patrol it in the golf cart and pick up trash—anything here forever, like plastic, aluminum, glass. I leave most paper items unless they are huge or are interesting fodder for future poems. Yesterday, I found this spoon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

How it Began

janerussellMy Poem Life show will include a section that tells the story of Psyche and Eros with poetry and audience interaction and stuff. Psyche is sacrificed to the beast because . . . well, that’s just what people used to do (still do). She was one of the beautiful young girls of the village so obviously was selected. She was decorated and put into a cart and taken to the top of the mountain to await the beast.

How it Began

It could happen any day
To anyone—finding one’s self
At the top of a mountain
Awaiting the thing you dream of
Yet can’t imagine.

I had not been taught to imagine
So I went trusting my father,
Trusting the townsfolk parading
Around me. In celebration,
We climbed the mountain.

I want to say this to you now,
Now that I have come through:
As I was carried up, I noticed
A mole near my ankle bone,
And a black hair spiraled from it.

Please come to the show! More details here. Oh, and that Jane Russell photo from The Outlaw . . . yea, there’s a poem about her and it in the show, too.

–Shaun Perkins