Common Ground Fair: Community Poem

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Facilitator Den Hensley writes: I put posters up around the fairgrounds with OCOP/TLA info and asked folks to write a 7 word novel on 3 x 5 cards on the topic of “My Community” which they then popped in a zip lock bag attached to the poster. We had great responses to the prompt (see attached poem) and my singing group had super fun time singing them in our performance. I also received “novels” from various other people that we included– from Kent State University, Unity College, and writing students from a Connecticut women’s writing circle. What follows is a poem collectively composed by those in attendance.


Community Poem

By Common Ground Fair attendees in Unity Maine and writing/poetry teachers and students from Connecticut, Maine and Ohio.  Built from 30 separate Seven-Word Novels collected by Deb Hensley on the theme of “My Community”
for One City One Prompt. 

Mrs. Ediburn, Hillary’s teacher, walks to church.
Purple zinnias grace fenced-in garden paths.
Sunday shoes click in that certain way.
We are all misfits that get along.
Faces living in a little white box.
Secretly she stirs poems into his tea.
Every night he screws old girlfriend ghosts.
But I’m in a hurry—text me.

Above yellow Formica, fishermen hunch over coffee
Early morning walkers, joggers, and runners nod.
Under the gold dome, citizens debate, legislate
Farmland gone, empty McMansions cover the land.
Sun grows plants, animals thrive, fungi recycle.
Women sit in circles sharing lives—dreams
Yes, come in—join us for tea.
But I’m in a hurry—text me.

In stillness, holding pens we birth ourselves.
Grateful hearts loving life lead me home.
Generosity in hands and heart–holding communities.
We’re circle-singing a tsunami of love.
Put on the fan–drown the voices!
She’s a prisoner in her own car.
Together apart dependently independent bonded and free.
But I’m in a hurry—text me.

Transient radical workers making ends meet, barely.
Can’t clean, gotta run to my meeting.
Hard-drive storage. My mind holds nothing.
The kids and dogs rule the streets.
Neighbors turned foes. Town turned city. Pity.
Caffeine gets work done. Denglisch wind gesprochen.
Monarchs migrate. Would we if we could?
Travelers all—we talk whenever roads intersect.

But I’m in a hurry—text me.

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