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Writing out the blues [poem: morning]

July 16, 2010

I’ve been watching the PBS Jazz series again this summer; as always, it makes me want to dance and sit back in awe at the same time. Why didn’t my university music theory classes have me studying the work of Duke Ellington, listening to the tight playing of Fletcher Henderson’s group, and deciphering the rhythmic codes of Chick Webb?

One of the clips in the series showed an interview with the Duke, saying one of my favorite lines: “I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.” That line was one of the inspirations for a poem that appeared in Tracks. It’s one of my favorites to read, perhaps because it’s among my limited collection of happy poems rather than my ever-growing list of therapeutic ones. I have been reading it lately in the same set as a newer, painful poem, since it seems to be a good counterbalance. The new piece is still a work in progress that I will share later. For now, here’s morning, which I wrote using the energy it takes to pout.


The world seems blurred at the edges
a fuzzy blend of day and sleep
pulls me back onto the pillow
eyes closed
lashes warmed by the sunlight
body warmed by your scent
and I curl my legs under
to wrap them in yours
and sleep
until the light hits your smile
slipping under your lids
tugging them open to reveal eyes that match mine
but lashes that are blond
and you move
tickling me awake
with your fingers and a glance
more like a caress
laughing at my slack lower lip
until I use the energy it takes to pout
and shift it into a smile

—Julie Laing
© 1999

You can hear me read this poem at the Kalispell Get Poetry Open Mic, thanks to the work of Mat Lee and The Jamhole. My reading starts around minute 11, but be sure to check out some of the other fabulous poets who were at this event. My other poem in this reading is “You’d dance too”; I also share a piece by the talented Leonard Cohen.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 8:34 am

    3 awards…a runner up on poetry, plus two on the bottom
    check out details yourself,
    Happy Tuesday!


  2. July 27, 2010 7:59 pm

    check to see if you would like to take one or two awards from there and share with poets who appreciate your work…
    Happy Tuesday!


  3. July 24, 2010 10:56 am

    any time, you simply click on the name of the poets and read and give a comment, that shaould not be hard.

    as for participation,
    after you post a new poem, you can let me know, then I can add you,

    simply comment for 18 poets, that’s done…
    take your time,
    July 28 is the last day for week 25, but it is okay to extend dates because Rally week 26 is 3 wees later…


  4. July 22, 2010 8:32 pm

    lovely poem:)


  5. July 22, 2010 8:32 pm



  6. July 22, 2010 8:52 am

    I don’t feel like waking up in such a wonderful morning XD, your words are really great, thank for sharing^^


  7. Jessicas Japes permalink
    July 22, 2010 7:15 am

    Came here via Jingles Rally. That poem conjours up a lovely happy image. Beautiful!


  8. July 21, 2010 8:09 pm



  9. July 21, 2010 7:53 pm

    LOL…I loved it..very skillful writing. Shine on 🙂


  10. July 21, 2010 12:09 pm



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