January 31, 2013

Electric Blue Magic

Yesterday's bad weather ended with my husband's office closing early, but since I had to work until five I took the bus home.  One of my job perks is a free bus pass, and I'm lucky enough to have the bus stop just two houses down from mine, so I truly like the idea of public transportation.  But in reality I am a terrible bus passenger--the diesel fumes and the quick lurching stop and starts get me 'bus sick' in just moments so the twenty minute ride home seems like eternity. 

So last night when I started thinking about what to write for today's post I started searching for poems about riding on buses.  For the record, there are very few of them, and they aren't very good.  That actually surprised me a little.  But during my search I ran across a video of Ruth Forman reciting one of her poems, Poetry Should Ride the Bus.  I was stunned--I loved the poem, I was fascinated with her recitation and was incredibly excited at the thought of bringing you an amazing poem today.  Perhaps you already know Ruth's work, but in case she is new to you as well, she is an American poet whose poems focus on spirituality, love, challenge and grace.  A fellow poet wrote of her work "this is what Forman does best: brings us to the heart of all that matters and introduces us to ourselves." 


So here is a poem that reaches far, far beyond my hopes for a 'bus poem'--instead you have a bright, saucy and infectious poem that celebrates how poetry brings joy to our lives.  I hope it makes you smile and that you hear the electric blue magic whisper in your ear today!

Poetry Should Ride the Bus
Ruth Forman

poetry should hopscotch in a polka dot dress
wheel cartwheels
n hold your hand
when you walk past the yellow crackhouse

poetry should dress in fine plum linen suits
n not be so educated that it don’t stop in
every now n then to sit on the porch
and talk about the comins and goins of the world

poetry should ride the bus
in a fat woman’s Safeway bag
between the greens n chicken wings
to be served with Tuesday’s dinner

poetry should drop by a sweet potato pie
ask about the grandchildren
n sit through a whole photo album
on a orange plastic covered La-Z-Boy with no place to go

poetry should sing red revolution love songs
that massage your scalp
and bring hope to your blood
when you think you’re too old to fight

poetry should whisper electric blue magic
all the years of your life
never forgettin to look you in the soul
ever once in a while
n smile.

from We Are The Young Magicians Beacon Press April 1, 1993

If you would like to see Ruth recite this poem, you can watch it here:

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