Anne-Marie Oomen | On Life
ANNE-MARIE OOMEN, Award-winning Michigan author, writer, poet, Interlochen Arts Academy, Writing Workshops, Poet in Residence, Writer in Residence, Writing Residence
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Pandemic Poem for Us All, #5: Something Rising

Now, even ordinary walks seem heightened, and what is a simple experience watching cranes becomes metaphorical for what must happen as we go through this. Anyway, that's what I hope. Pandemic: Something RisingWalking the old road again,I heard them, chortling high as they flew, that chuckle that sounds like family gossip though of course it’s not. They appeared below rain-stained clouds, a dozen...

Pandemic Poems for Us All #4

This goes back a month. I thought this poem-thing was sortof depressing but now, with everything that's happened since, I'm not so sure. Week One: Pandemic Since the first day, I’ve walked the road devoid of snow, past the open meadow, grim with dun grasses, and there, near an open stretch by the pines, a flock of robins, twelve or so, looking thin, foraging for grubs in fallow sod.  Next day,...

Pandemic Poems for Us All #2: Proximity

As promised, another poem-thing. That's what poet William Stafford called his drafts. Again--not deeply revised, no great intent, but springing from the moment. I have the hope, perhaps false, that these poems will all have a short life, that we'll get past this threat, so not need them, and therefore they should not rest long--as I prefer for poems. So here,...

50th Anniversary of The Lottery (the draft, not the short story!)

Fifty years ago this evening, December 1, 1969, I sat in a student lounge at Grand Valley State University and was witness to the draft lottery for young men who would be sent to fight in the Vietnam war. It was a harrowing experience and I'll never forget it--I understood many would not return....

Staring at Trees: Best Rest Practice

My writer friend Katey Schultz, sent me a postcard. Snail mail post card. Nice.  On it, a question: “What if our culture valued rest and relaxation?”   Thanks Katey, what if?  IF: the operative word. Ahem. I was busy. I was tired. I didn’t have time. To paraphrase, the world was too much with me…. But you know how it is when favorite people ask a real...

A Flag and a Drum: Free Press, Free People Rally

Saturday, March 7 The first person I see as I walk down Front Street in Traverse City, Michigan to stand in front of our regional newspaper office, Record-Eagle, is old friend and organizer Ashlea Walters with her two children.  How lovely, the children here in the bright March sun, demonstrating with us. They jump up and down (hop really—like small rabbit people) with child-sized signs in...

Across the Street: Planned Parenthood rally

I have been a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood, giving regularly and willingly because Planned Parenthood is the single reason I didn’t get pregnant in college.  Because here’s the truth; in the post free-love seventies, I was sexually active. I should say it louder.  I was sexually active.  (Does bolding the letters do it?) Not just active but maybe frenetic. Gosh, I loved sex. To...

What I Learned Marching in DC

Forty-Four hours and twenty-two minutes from the time Bus 1 TC (organized by Becky Beauchamp) pulled away from Leelanau Studios to the time we arrived back at the parking lot. About nine of those hours were actually spent at the march in Washington D.C. I offer here what I saw, what I felt, the “understandings” that are now seared in memory, even some thoughts I...

Why I’m Going to march in Washington DC

On January 21, the day after the inauguration, I will attend the Women’s March in Washington D.C.  to spend the day walking Independence Avenue with people from all over the country. Simultaneously, marches will occur in major cities all over the country.  Why am I going?  I’m compelled for a myriad of reasons I have been asked to voice here. I will march first because of...

A Couple Walk into a Bar…

A man and woman walk into a bar.  Pretend the couple is me and my husband, David.  We sit at the bar and order two beers. Overhead, three TV’s hang in their vivid color, ALL of them tuned to FOX news.  When we ask for one to be switched to CNN, no one can find the remote. No one can find the remote?!? In this time...