Anne-Marie Oomen | News
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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“Only Water” published in Seiche ways, limited edition chapbook for FLOW

This poem was written for a collection of ten poems collected from poets all over Michigan, celebrating water and published for FLOW's annual recognition event. Only WaterHow do I explain this?Something kestrel-like and light, yetdoused. He wanted us to rise as kites, fall like rain.How do I explain him wading in to his thighs, me followingto my chest, him lacing his fingers,me facing...

Water Gratitude, for “Water Studies”

Performed with Ari Mokdad and Elizabeth Schulman (choreographers) at Detroit Dance City Festival, August 2019. Water Gratitude Listen beyond your ears. Listen inside the bowl, from the cradle of the Niagara Escarpment.Listen. The voices of five lakes, five senses. Beings. Listen to the thrum of our Deep Time,to the words inside the wet journey,to the knowing inside our waves. Listen to the molecular change—What...

Words that Matter #2: Stepping Back into March by John Lewis

I urgently turn the page of March (book two) by the late congressman John Lewis (with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell). I’ve come to the pages that depict the explosion of the Freedom Riders bus in 1961. I’m trying to escape the burning bus with them. I’m absorbing their faces as I “read” the panels, and I tear up for their terror and...

On Words That Matter #1: Ross Gay’s “catalogue of unabashed gratitude”

As a small gesture of what I can do in this time, I want to share a joyful book, yes a joyful book of poems that at the same time doesn’t deny the active sorrow of this world or the current crisis of race in this country. I offer up the power of Ross Gay’s “catalogue of unabashed gratitude.” Published in 2015, these poems...

A Tree Poem: The Riddle

RIDDLEYou can hear our voices in the wind but we are not the wind.We lean into the earth, always filtering what is left.We hold the spirit of tallness, of all things impossible with balance.Even though we belong to the sun,we are the ocean of green.You can count our yearsinside the rings of our hearts.We do not die easily,though we can die quickly.We are tender of...

Pandemic Poems for Us All #7: Faults

Found Poem asking this: if we are truly quieter, what do we hear? Based on notes taken from an article by Robin George Andrews in the New York Times Faults the anthropogenic hiss of us has for years masked words made by our tectonic plates  the planet’s shifting terrains now in our collective wills not just the neighbors but the millions who have hunkered down seismometers hear and record a lexicon of earth clearer in this...

Pandemic Poems for Us All #6

Super moon. Today, wifi went down a dozen times, a file wouldn't load, and I burned the cookies. This poem addresses all that. Full Moon PoemThe moon, full; Internet, down,some glitch with centurytel.com, some glitch with the century too—coronas in cahoots, and panic attacksand then we’re crawling out of cubicles,free of monitors and Zoom,and all those uploaded articles,and while the servers spin their rainbow...

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 #1

Here's a poem that comes out of this new experience. Just trying to reflect here the things we are feeling in this new time. Quarantine’s Touch I walked the empty road to a neighbor’s house. I hesitated to knock—I’d have to touch the door, but then I did. She came, her hair mussed, smiled, and put her palm against the glass and I put mine against the cool on my...