May 2012 Open Mic

Dear Writers,

What would you like done with your body after you’re dead? At the May open mic at Village Books, Shannon Laws’ comtemplative poem “Perhaps” offered a resonating reply. Henry Cross came next reading “Nessie,” a charming recollection about a true son of the South. His better half, Susan Campbell Cross, treated us to an excerpt of her novel in progress titled Consequences. She has 400 pages written to date. Go, Susan! With his usual panache, Matthew Brouwer entertained with poetry recalling a sour day at Folk Life (but it’s been much better lately, he reports).

We welcomed open mic newcomer Jill Emerson, who read “Hospice Story” from her journal kept while sitting with her dying mother. Angela Belcaster told us that a memory from volunteering at a women’s shelter led to her beautiful piece about children in that environment that will be part of a longer work. Denise DuMaurier read her Memorial Day poem “Landscaping Late” as well as “Standstill,” inspired by a boat in the Bellingham Bay.

Poet and teacher Betty Scott was featured at the World Poetry International Festival and hence feels now like an “empowered poet.” (As she should!) Her poetry reminded us how the poet’s fertile playground is grief and love.

At the open mics and in my classes, I immensely enjoy the poets, as it’s not my form but so fun to be treated to it. At the recent Chuckanut Writers Conference where I was again honored to be on the faculty, I sat in on a workshop taught by Sheila Bender of Writing It Real, and she got me to draft a poem (about my third ever!), tremendous fun for me. Here it is, prompted by the repeated memory line given by Sheila:

If I could talk with my mother for one moment more…
I would listen.
If I could talk with my mother for one moment more…
I would catch onto one of her smiles and stitch it into my pocket.
If I could talk with my mother for one moment more…
I would tell her—What would I tell her? That I’m sorry. That she showed me how to love. That I take my vitamins and put on my nylons the right way and that she was right about that boy.
If I could talk with my mother for one moment more…
I would sit with her in the blue day and just be.
  • As always, send me your writing-related event notices so I can help spread the word! If you feel like it, tell a couple people about this blog. For more details about upcoming events, visit the About Town page at
  • Check out the open mic “regulars” page. If you’d like to be added you must have read within the last three months. Send me your site link, too, so I can include it!
  • Yep, a little behind here getting ready for the Chuckanut conference, so June’s open mic newsletter is coming in a minute. 🙂

xo Laurel Leigh

2 thoughts on “May 2012 Open Mic

  1. wow! Nice blog! I’m following. Please go check out my blog for inspiration stories and more! Spread the word! Thanks!

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