Post # 336
27 September 2020
Lynda McKinney Lambert
Official Author Website
Try to Capture September
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
I’ve spent days thinking about September. How can I write a poem about her? Rapid changes are occurring all around me this month, and I’m getting dizzy! I’m downright giddy with bursts of nervous energy. This zest charge was unexpected, hidden in the mists of the crisp early morning. I floated, it seemed, at the crest of September with my feet stretched downwards to dig into the sands of its shoreline. I have been unsuccessful!
Since the beginning of this fast-moving month, I have tried to pay attention to the small nuances and living details I experienced. I moved carefully, even cautiously, from day to day through the month of Ever-changing September. Yes! I am standing at the mid-point of the month, and I still feel lost at sea.
I took a deep breath, held it in for a couple of seconds as I remembered my fingers. I looked at the computer screen. I exhaled. Nearby, my sleeping dog shifts in a black furry bed. In my dog’s sleep, he snorts, and my leather chair squeaks as my fingers pound out some letters on the stiff keyboard. I move my body forward again and bring my mind back to September. The sun streams through the dusty window. My back seeks the stability of my solid chair. I raise my hands to my face, close my eyes, and think about my breath. My chest rises as I become aware of the sharp, piercing call of the eagle flying above the trees outside this window.
At the beginning of the month, I took short walks in the woods. I saw subtle changes. My two dogs stopped and sniffed the breeze. They tried to catch the news of the day, bring it home and share it with me. We paused on the path, and I watched them stop and stare into the thickets, then up into the trees. They paid close attention to all the wildflowers as I touched them. I tried to concentrate on the details – to memorize each little subtle distinction of a Yellow Crownbeard or leaf of the White Snakeroot plant. I asked, “How does it look in the shade? How does it feel to the touch? Try to remember it all!”
I reached out, touched the trunks of trees as we traveled together in the afternoon sun. I recall the feeling of textures and the girth of a tree in my arms as I tried to encircle it. I needed to touch the Locust tree’s overlapping surface to put it in my memory bank. If I do this, I can retrieve it when wintry days become anxious and lonely.
Eventually, I realized what I searched for in September. Every new day in this quest twisted and turned in on me as I searched for the form that would be perfect for my September poem. I began to visualize myself as a whirling dervish. I swirled in circles, round and round, and my feet were on sifting and shifting sand all the time. My thoughts raced far faster than I could ever write. My entire body quivered inside because of all the raw sensations that this month gave me.
I realized September is the one month of the year that is a charade. She is undependable, captivating, and quixotic. She cannot be captured in the Pantoum I had intended to put her into. I thought, “I’ll catch her by a sliver of one of her yellow petals! Then, I’ll flatten her out between the pages of a Villanelle.” But as it turned out, she became a book of sand, and I simply could not get a grasp on her!
This morning I tried to put some words to my paper. I had to step over the obstacles of images and feelings. I said, “I have to just go after a little piece of September. I need to catch her unawares and grab what I can. It might be just a fragment or an adjective. Do it quickly, run fast, bring that piece to my paper and slap it down with glue. I’ll have to use E-600 for this job! What will be large enough to hold uncooperative September?”
“Yes! I’ve got it now. My tribute to September will be an ODE. It will celebrate the precocious September perfectly.”
My “Ode for September” must be hefty and as unsettled as she.
My 10-line stanzas will be a passionate song about September, the Whirling Dervish!
This thoughtful personal essay appears in Lynda’s book, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017. This book provides readers with a year-long journey, from January through December. “Try to Capture September,” is an essay in the September section.
Lynda McKinney Lambert’s writing projects are thoughtful personal essays and spare poetry. She retired from her position as Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities at Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA) in October 2008.
Lynda married Bob Lambert. The couple lives in the rural Village of Wurtemburg, in Western Pennsylvania. Bob, a retired fitter, and welder is in remission from AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) since October, 2014, due to a stem cell transplant. Lynda has been his caregiver since that time. The couple have 6 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs. They enjoy walking in the woods that surrounds there home on a ridge overlooking the Connoquenessing Creek. Most of Lynda’s writings are inspired by nature and her faith in God, the Creator. You can learn more by visiting the book of Genesis, in the Holy Bible.
Other Publications of this essay appeared in:
_Walking by Inner Vision Blog, Sept. 15, 2014
_Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine,” fall/winter edition, 2015.
Who is? Lynda McKinney Lambert
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