Poetry Archive Now! Sitting with Amazing
Putting Yourself Out There

This was one of those times when I ‘put myself out there’ because, why not? When encouraging someone else to apply I said, even if it’s just that it gets uploaded to The Poetry Archive YouTube channel, that’s more people engaging with your poem. I was content with that being the outcome.

I didn’t expect to actually be one of the 20 winners picked out of 320 submissions. In fact, when I saw the email I got ready to read ‘thank you for entering …Unfortunately…’

Today, I’m sitting with amazing.

The first line of the poem was my response—during a phone call—to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial (20 April 2021) for the murder of George Floyd.

The night before (when the verdict was imminent) two people contacted me to say the announcement was about to be made. I told them I didn’t want to know yet “as the most likely bad news can keep till tomorrow.” So little was my faith that justice would be done.

So when one of them called in the morning bursting to tell me, that was my response. Throughout the rest of the day the line ‘kept coming back to me. and the person on the call called again to say they’d also been using it with others. The line seemed to be asking to become a poem.

Since then the poem has contributed to a Luminary Bakery wellbeing session for women who have experienced multiple disadvantages, including gender-based violence; connected with friends of friends and people on social media; and now ‘out there’ as a permanent part of The Poetry Archive.

Holding Onto What is Good

Choosing to sit with the amazing or if you prefer, continuing to give thanks, doesn’t mean everything is fine. Neither does it mean that an issue has been resolved, you are already the other side of ‘it’ or got your victory etc.

It means—to me—that even if just for that moment, or in whatever way you can you are holding onto what is good. Soaking in it for a minute before you have to continue to face whatever the challenge may be or the day, week, life may hold for you.

While communicating with the Poetry Archive administrator about the poem, I was having to do this. My Dad got taken into hospital—in critical condition—the day before I could officially share the news about being one of the winners.

Instead of posting about this great news about the poem, I was posting updates about my Dad and asking people to pray. – Give thanks he has made an amazing recovery. I remember saying to myself one morning, ‘I’m sitting with amazing.’ Each new morning without the phone ringing in the middle of the night or on hearing about a positive improvement, I was sitting with amazing.

So in what way might you ‘put yourself out there? Or maybe, do you need to just ‘sit with the amazing’ for a minute?