Friday, April 1, 2016

March flew past in a windy blur, and now, April, the cruelest month, begins

©2016 Noreen Braman
April is here, the month of my birth and all manner of celebrations and commemorations. Here, in New Jersey, it is the month where we expect Spring to kick into full gear, but snow and freezing temperatures can still make an appearance. Yellow, in the form of forsythia and daffodils, creeps across the landscape, followed by the whites and pinks of flowering trees and shrubs. Hyacinths, tulips and other early spring bloomers fill in the palette with assorted hues of purple, fuschia and orange. Before most trees have leafed over, there is a riot of color in my area.

Yet, T.S. Eliot referred to April as "the cruelest month" in the opening line of The Waste Land, and what he means by that is the stuff of college literature classes. For me, I have adopted his line as the working title of the collection of all my poetry written in April for National Poetry Writing Month as a sort of tongue in cheek complaint about how difficult it is to write a poem every, single, day.

And that brings up another April designation - it is National Humor Month. So appropriate for the month that starts with April Fool's Day and concludes the first Sunday in May with World Laughter Day. This makes April almost the perfect storm of creative outlets for me. If I find out there is some photography or graphic design designation for this month I may need to take a month off from my job just to keep up! Out in Arizona the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is holding its yearly conference, and in Ohio, the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop (both of which I have previously attended) is holding theirs. Much of what I do as a Laughter Wellness Instructor is important to emphasize because April is National Stress Awareness Month. My plate is getting fuller by the minute! The more I look on the web, the more things I find that have declared April as their awareness month, and all are deserving of attention: autism, animal cruelty, jazz, volunteers, mathematics ... and on and on.

So welcome to The Cruelest Month, where I will endeavor to keep up with writing a poem a day, as well as focus on humor. This doesn't mean every poem will be funny. (or good, for that matter). And I will try to stay away from telling jokes. The reality is, I piled up a bunch of life experiences in March which may bring a smile to your face, if only because it didn't happen to you.

In the fashion of Rod Serling's introduction to an episode of The Twilight Zone, submitted for your approval is my first, brief, poem of 2016


An assortment of declarations
Provided by various sources
Revealing special interests
Issues and commemorations
Leading to events and challenges
For those who follow the cause.
Oh what a list of celebrations
Observations and awareness campaigns
Leaping for our attention and sometimes
Soliciting our donations.
                                        ©2016 Noreen Braman

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