By Grace Maselli
Yesterday’s TBT poetry potluck served up food for the soul. Deep sharing—recitation and delighted listening, opened the door to our collective human experience. Inspired readings of classics ranged from “The Night Before Christmas,” first published anonymously in 1823 (and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore), to “On Children” by Kahlil Gibran. Some guests read from their own uniquely authored inventions. We heard about daughters’ enduring love for their mommas, a Philippine mother’s playful poem for her children about the stages of the moon, about a time and culture where families sit together, outside, sans TV, and take in the natural world. Spoken words from the annals of American poetess Edna St. Vincent Millay, and lyric constructions on the art of painting a picture, also flowed into the room. We were deeply moved by a widow’s enduring love for her life partner and overjoyed by the poetic expression of 80-year-olds taking the plunge, getting hitched, with love and humor fearlessly on their minds. We listened with all 34 of our collective ears to Brian Bilston’s poem, “Refugees” read forward and backward by a husband-and-wife duo, and marveled at its inventiveness and power to stir compassion and insight into our common humanity. Beyond the potstickers and pepperoni, our TBT community truly came together, hung out, hung back. We got caught up, carried away, and charmed by the verse and rhyme that binds us in ordinary and beautiful life moments.