Poem: All or Nothing

I wrote this poem after deliberating if The Word: A Festival of the Spoken and Written Word: Celebrating All Voices should be canceled–due to the rain storm close approaching. Rita M. Monte and Peter V. Dugan and I, deliberated for over a week, visiting alternative locations, making phone calls, calling in chips.

We had a Poetry: It’s a SHORE Thing! Open mic, on my birthday, a few days prior.

The Scene, an online poetry zine I work with, was there taking photos for their November issue. I vetted their opinion. Should we cancel? Should I give the grant money back? Should we pair down, and find an indoor venue? Their unified answer was ‘All or Nothing’. We decided just that! From that moment on we forged ahead to pep for our rain date on October 15th.

I was fortunate enough to present with three of Long Island’s current Poets Laureate (pictured left to right: Lindamichelle Baron, Poet Laureate of the Town of Hempstead; Me; Ella O’Conner, Suffolk County Youth Laureate; Deborah Hauser, Suffolk County Poet Laureate). They all shared their cause and words with the audience and the full Poets Laureate Marathon Emeritus group, hosted by the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society, continued after that. As did so many other presentations. Although we did not have all of the programs planned, and many had to pivot–in the end we did have it all!

All or Nothing

It’s all or nothing.
It’s all or nothing,
they echoed!

Sometimes you just don’t know
The anxiety
The disappointment
that clouds things, reality,
the importance.

But it’s all or nothing
when the trust is high,
and the faith is on your side,
and the believers–believe.

It was my birthday.
I searched for alternatives,
scared
the rain would last.

I gave the chocolate away.
Said no to the tap.
Exhausted,
I took my helium home.

It’s all or nothing.
It’s all or nothing,
they echoed!

Sometimes all you need,
is a song.
A mantra,
in repetition, over and over again…
to fill your heart with appreciation.

1 Comment
  • Rita Monte
    Posted at 21:40h, 06 December Reply

    Omg!!
    So beautiful
    So poignant
    So true

    Veni
    Vidi
    Vince
    And we did
    What a great trio we made !
    So honored to have worked alongside two great Poet Laureate!
    Priceless!! 💙💕

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