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Lothlorien Poetry Journal

February 13, 2023

This weekend I was in Washington, DC to see some friends and take in some sights. It was weird, because even though most things looked the same—the lights still blink when the Metro train is coming, the merry-go-round is still on the national mall, the Burghers of Calais are still looking horrified and resigned in the Hirshhorn sculpture garden—and seeing those familiar things made me feel like I did when I walked there in my twenties, my legs aren’t capable of the same distances anymore.

So I did more bench-sitting and people-watching, and that’s a pleasure, too. We had a lovely tea with our friends in their garden, where snowdrops were blooming and the jonquils looked almost ready to bloom. We went through the National Gallery one day and the next we explored a bit of the National Portrait Gallery and got to see the new-ish portraits of Obama and Michelle, which are often on tour but just happened to be at their home base this weekend.

We walked through the Air and Space museum and enjoyed the way they display the USS Enterprise from Star Trek and Luke’s X-Wing fighter from Star Wars along with other crafts we’ve sent to space, like Mariner 10 and the Mars rover.

And during the weekend, I found out that a journal I submitted a couple of poems to because it has the loveliest, most evocative name—The Lothlorien Poetry Journal—has published both of them online. Here’s a link in case you want to read them. “Premonitions” is my Covid-era poem, and “Home for the Holidays” is about my first child as an adult.

What a great weekend it was. I missed a symphony concert at Kenyon and was afraid to leave Tristan, my cat who is struggling with kidney failure, but the music went on well enough without me this time and the cat made it through, with the help of a very attentive cat sitter and a friend who came by to reassure him that his shoulder-sitting needs had not been entirely forgotten.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2023 12:34 pm

    Lovely pictures, Jeanne. I enjoyed the National Portrait Gallery and the Obamas, too, not too long ago.

    • February 14, 2023 8:50 am

      Since the Portrait Gallery is away from the other museums we’d never been there before, and it was worth the trip, wasn’t it?

      • February 14, 2023 1:49 pm

        Yes! I had been to DC three or four times before I made it to the Portrait and Smithsonian National Gallery. I think it was closed a while years ago is one reason. I was at a nearby hotel at the entrance to Chinatown, so it was within walking distance. Also, a metro stop was right by there, too. It all worked out. I even got to hear the symphony in that open space with the cool roof, which was fabulous. It was when the unnamed person was still in office!

        • February 14, 2023 2:17 pm

          We were also staying at a nearby hotel, near Metro Center. It’s funny to see the difference between what you notice as a tourist and what you noticed when you lived near a tourist attraction.

  2. February 13, 2023 12:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your poems! Great name for a journal indeed.

    • February 14, 2023 8:53 am

      My pleasure. I do love the name of the journal, and that the poets and authors published in it are listed as “Knights of Lothlorien”!

  3. February 14, 2023 5:30 am

    Enjoyed your poems Jeanne. Both moving, in different ways.

    And, I know the feeling of not having the same energy I had in my 20s! But, as you say, there are compensations. People watching is always great.

    • February 14, 2023 8:57 am

      Ah, that makes me feel better, that even people with better knees have less energy as they get older. I tend to blame everything on my knees.
      In addition to watching people, I also noticed a few things that I wouldn’t have otherwise, like a movie playing behind an air force jet on display that showed it in action, and those who had flown it.

  4. February 14, 2023 6:54 am

    Congrats on the poems, that’s amazing! I liked the image of the petite old ladies inside the store, reaching up for groceries on tall shelves without you. It tugged at my heartstrings.

    • February 14, 2023 8:58 am

      As it tugs at mine. What some of us would do without others, no one knows…I might not even be here except for that Brazilian nurse.

  5. February 14, 2023 1:47 pm

    I’m glad you had a good trip! It’s so good to get away and see different things from your usual.
    Homesick for the Holidays was so poignant. As a mother of a rapidly growing son (turning 12 this year) I see the future coming quickly. The hardest thing a parent does, I think, to learn to let go by degrees and then all at once.

    • February 14, 2023 2:19 pm

      And of course you never completely let go.
      I like your version of the title, especially since that’s how it turned out this year (we had Covid and my first child, the one the poem is about, came by only briefly on Christmas day).

  6. February 14, 2023 3:30 pm

    Lovely poems Jeanne! And so glad you had such a nice trip too. I’ve never been to DC. would love to go there by train one day.

    • February 15, 2023 1:40 pm

      Everyone in this country should get to go there at one time or another, for all the free museums! The Metro trains are fabulous, too. I meant to ride the trains more than it turned out I could, as walking to and even inside the stations was more than I could manage and still be able to walk around inside the museums.

  7. February 15, 2023 10:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing the poems, that was lovely

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