On Writing

Poem 69 – Haiku for my future self on my next birthday

Haiku for my future self on my next birthday

birthing continues
wrinkles are Time’s poetry
reflections matter



This evening I have the first ‘official’ interview for ‘thimbles’! I’m nervous! I will be interviewed by Adam from the Windsor Public Library for its ‘book talk’ series. The interview will air in April (I’ll let you know when, of course!). Last night I prepared by choosing several poems to read and by making notes about the journey of the book itself.

I’ve created a rehearsal schedule for a special video I’m making for the book launch, and the date for the video recording is coming up quickly. Every day I’m spending time preparing for the launch. My tummy feels always filled with butterflies; they are gentle but they are constant!

The biggest challenge I’m facing is being able to read and share the poetry without crying. After my first rehearsal, I fell to the floor weeping like my Nonna had passed all over again. Grief is still very alive and though I do a good job of ignoring her…the poems pull her out of hiding and she squeezes my throat into a flood of tears.

This is happening, and it’s important to me, and it’s all for my deep devotion and love for my Nonna. The book is past its ‘blue page’ stage and pushing ink into pages in printing.


Thank you to Deb Hill for her beautiful words about ‘thimbles’ that she posted on Goodreads.

“i found her dressmaker’s shears while she was sleeping/i cut into her past & freed up her laughter” (p. 44)

I loved it! Thimbles is Vanessa Shields’s best poetry collection to date. Her work not only explores a new maturity in subject matter but her use of the sewing and mountain themes and motifs beautifully stitch together the narrative thread of her 94 poems.

At first, I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle another book about grief especially during the pandemic lockdown, but Shields’s poetic tribute to her nonna read like a well-crafted novel. Divided into three sections: un bacon d’amor; only the good lasts; and domain e un alter giorno, the work pulls in the reader with the introduction of nonna as child, teen, seamstress, and mother and then builds on family relationships, followed by the challenges of her dementia and her family’s reactions to her demise.

“she is threads of light” (p. 83) “dimples like the tip of a thimble” (p. 83)

Heartwarming, tender, personal! A colour-coordinated patchwork of lyrical emotions! Hear my applause!


Thank you everyone for your support thus far! Happy writing!

2 thoughts on “Poem 69 – Haiku for my future self on my next birthday

  1. I am so excited for Thimbles and cannot wait to read what I’m sure are poignant and powerful words about your nonna. Best of luck with your interview tomorrow! ❤️

    Like

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