Jule Shulman’s “Wilding” & Holly Guran’s “Lifework”
All structures are unstable
notre dame itself will burn
your stubborn body will fail
each thing grown fresh and new
is already fading and will fall away
but today I saw a shock of wild tulips
rising up through
plastered garbage and leaves
in a condemned lot on a windy morning
and they were perfect
the world needs nothing from me
small and fleeting as I am
but I lay my wonder down before it
and this gift somehow does not lie fallow
but rises up a new wilding and blooms.
* Poet’s Writing Prompt: Write down two things seem diametrically opposed (for example: beauty/trash, or truth/lies). Spend 30 seconds brainstorming a list under each one with examples. Select 3 from each list and pair them with one of their opposites. Try to find a way each pair could be seen as connected, or in relationship to one another. Write a 3-5 line stanza about each of these connections, moving from the easiest to connect to the most difficult.
Something to be said
for the dry ground
where gold chrysanthemums rose
and held on bravely
well into fall’s turning,
where the mint beneath
survived. Now to spread
the chopped leaves, a mulch
to nourish, to preserve
the soil’s integrity.
We are not sure what will be saved
or whether the invasives will reappear
but we remain loyal
carrying our bucket of tools
to where our work will be done.
* Mass Poetry Writing Prompt: Find an activity that allows for a meditative uninterrupted space—it could be gardening, exercise, cooking, doing dishes, etc. Spend an uninterrupted chunk of time immersed in that activity, and let whatever thoughts or feelings that come to you during that time inspire the next thing you write.
Julie Shulman is an award-winning graphic designer and art director who has recently begun exploring the practice of writing poetry. She lives in a very old house outside of Boston that is the subject of comically serial renovations, alongside her husband, trusty rescue pup, and three ever-inventive and active boys. Her work has been published in Soul-lit, and the 2020 Anthology ‘Telling our stories through word and image’ from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock arts program.
Holly Guran, author of Twilight Chorus (Main Street Rag), River of Bones (Iris Press) and the chapbooks River Tracks and Mothers’ Trails, earned a Massachusetts Cultural Council award and coordinates a popular Boston reading series. Her work has appeared in journals including Mom Egg Review, Poet Lore, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Worcester Review, and Salamander. Her narrative poems, based on a 19th century correspondence between a mill girl and the editor she married, have been performed in Boston and at the Lowell National Historic Park. https://poetry-holly-guran.vpweb.com