“Do” developed an annual poetry contest judged by prominent poets with the winners highlighted in the annual edition of the magazine, and she organized annual series of readings in local libraries and bookstores, often with an open mic to encourage more poets to participate in the readings. “Do” was a warm and generous woman, one who reached out to and supported poets and fiction writers of all ages.
Below is a poem about losing that appeared in Bloodroot Literary Magazine 2010. It was the first of my poems to be accepted in Bloodroot. I offer it here for “Do.”
The yellow eye of a bright blue
forget-me-not in my garden
looked up at me today,
reproaching me for absent-mindedness.
I planted it last year and I’d forgotten
where it lay. That look is haunting me.
Yesterday I lost my ipod. The day
before, some pills I thought
were safely stored,
and last week a book
I knew I’d bought and put
upon a shelf vanished.
Words too are so much harder
to retrieve. I know I had them,
but they no longer
come on cue, waiting till I think
they’re really gone and then
emerging. And yet, forgetfulness
is just a symptom. A while ago,
I lost another dog
to old age and disease,
a timid Springer Spaniel,
who barked at bikes and boxes
but no one ever feared.
That isn’t all. I’ve lost a younger brother
and a much beloved friend.
That losing comes with loving
is, I know, a given.
Still loving is a habit
that I can not break—a bird
whose nest is plundered
and every year,
I build my nest again
in the same fragile place.
©Phyllis B. Katz
Bloodroot Literary Magazine, January 2010; All Roads Go Where They Will, Antrim House Books, 2010.