Friday, April 12, 2019

Poetry Friday: Resting Heart Rate

This is just a first draft, but I'm having fun playing around with this idea. 

Resting Heart Rate 
Karen Edmisten 

My Fitbit knock-off
(face it, I'm cheap ...
no, let's employ the more
poetic, "frugal")
blinks at me: my heart
is racing.

Worries, health, worries,
daughters, worries,
climate change, worries, friendships,
storms, politics, 

Is this number off the charts?
Is this number
even on the chart? Or meant to be?

Enter John Ashbery.
John Koethe, too,
(though, face it, he can prompt
existential worry. 
I love him anyway.)

Billy Collins would
dispatch my frugal knock-off
with a wry smile and a shake of his head.
So I open his book and sail alone
around the room.

Wordsworth. Words worth
savoring. Richard Wilbur (Oh!
Be still my heart! How I adore him.)
Wait ... what's that?
It is.
It is still.
It is resting.
It is
still resting.

Balm, salve, sedative.
Poetry, my remedy,
the tincture that calms,
prescription for my overzealous brain,
frugal economy of words,
hushing my heart.


Ruth said...

Poetry does have that effect, doesn't it? I really like this, Karen!

Tabatha said...

I think reading your poem calmed me down :-) Thanks, Karen!

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Tabatha and Ruth!

Cheriee Weichel said...

Sometimes poetry can calm me down, and then at other times, it leaves me enraged. It's all about who I am reading!

Linda B said...

Really nice, Karen, better than pills! "So I open his book and sail alone
around the room." is one I count on, and I love "Words worth
savoring." too. It's a unique way to consider one's heart.

Karen Edmisten said...

Cheriee, ha! Yes, that's certainly true, too! :)

Linda, thanks for sharing in my poetic treatment of life's ailments. :)

Carol said...

In the first part of your poem, my heart is anxious and antsy and stressed, and then I get to the second part, and my heartbeat slows and calms, and I think, "Yes, this is how it feels!" I love this!

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

Balm, salve, sedative.
Poetry, my remedy,

Oh yes it is, Karen. This is lovely.

Karen Edmisten said...

Carol, and Kimberly -- thank you so much!