The Poetry of This Life // Trina O'Gorman

The Poetry of This Life // Trina O'Gorman

It stayed pretty dark this morning because the cloud cover was thick and low. When I was walking Zelda at 7 AM, a plane flew overhead in a way that caught me quite by surprise, though it took me far longer than it should have to figure out why. This made me realize that I should pay much closer attention to things, to all things in general, like the sound planes usually make when flying overhead. And, of course, the plane was so much louder because it was flying low in the sky, beneath the clouds. I found this to be so interesting that I took my phone from my jacket pocket and recorded a few moments of its flight before the view was interrupted by the power lines that crisscrossed the sky. I can go for days without noticing how ugly they are, until I’m trying to take a photo or record a video, and they are cluttering the view. 

Zelda, my dog, didn’t seem to be doing any better with her “peeing” problem. She kept squatting to go, but when she stood up after a longer than usual effort, the snow beneath her was still white. She did that three or four times each walk before she was agreeable to going back into the house, only to relieve herself on the floor several times. The incontinency only occurs in the evening, though she drinks water several times a day, and we take her for several walks a day. We are awaiting the results of her urinalysis from the vet. They should have something back from the lab by tomorrow morning, and I pray it’s just a urinary tract infection and nothing more serious than that. We don’t know exactly how old she is because they had no information about her at the shelter, other than that she came from a kill-shelter down South, but they guesstimated that she was about two or three years old then, and that was five and a half years ago. Hopefully, it isn’t age or anything serious. 

When we came back in, she climbed up on the sofa and onto the highest stack of cushions she could find, and lay down looking content and comfortable enough. I went to make coffee. A new bag of coffee beans had arrived a few days before. I have a monthly subscription with MistoBox, a coffee curating/subscription service that surprises me at the end of each month with a new pound of coffee that I probably would find on my own. This month’s blend is called Blue Heeler from Colectivo Roasters. Their mascot is an Australian Blue Heeler dog, which is cute, but the coffee is only average, but drinkable and better than anything I could get at Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks. I can count on one hand how many coffees I’ve purchased at a coffee shop since the pandemic lockdown in March 2020, and I don’t miss it. I’ve learned to brew great coffee with the French press and my Chemex Pour Over brewer. 

I brewed enough for two cups of coffee and sat down to write in my notebook. It took me a while to figure out what to write about. It has become harder and harder, nearly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic to find things to write about that take me outside of myself and don’t simply result in daily navel-gazing or perseverating over the same problems day after day. The pace of our lives used to be so much different. We were always running somewhere, always doing something, and though our days are still full, our energy, interactions, and scope are very different. Things are more the same now, and our energy is not nearly as dispersed. In some ways, it’s great. But there are days when I wonder if what I am writing matters, something I never really asked before. 

I pull out my [BKxTRC] Grid Notebook and open it to a new page. I take a sip of my average tasting Blue Heeler Signature Blend coffee, and find that it’s smooth tasting, not bitter, but well-balanced, and a little nutty. Nothing spectacular, but not bitter or acidic. I grow to appreciate it for its simplicity and balance. I set my Yeti coffee mug back on the table and unscrew the cap of the Pilot Custom 823 pen and write the date on the next blank page. The ink flows out smoothly on the grid-ruled paper. The paper is thin and crinkles as I write with my fine point nib. February 2021. It’s one of my favorite months. The month in which my oldest son was born. And winter. I love winter. I especially love the way the air smells when it’s about to snow, which it has been doing a lot of lately. 

I decide to write about my sons, coffee, and snow. 

There is a tree on the corner of my street that didn’t lose all of its leaves, even though it’s the dead of winter. But all of the leaves are dried and brown, hanging on for dear life. And when the wind blows, even just a gentle breeze, the leaves make so much noise. Like the tree is talking. 

I write about that too. The talking tree. And I realize I have plenty to write about. Not gripe about or try to figure out or “deal with.” Instead, my life has given way to the types of observations that are nearly poetic and I do not consider myself a poet. But, there’s plenty to write about when you pay attention to all of it — the balance of your coffee, the crinkle of your paper, and the song of the trees.



  • Mary Noreen Bucklew: March 05, 2021
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    Trina, once again, it is like you are reading the mail I haven’t sent… I am going to share this essay with a FB group, Innovative Journaling, I moderate, in hopes that your words can put a name to things everyone is feeling.

    Thank you, as always.


  • Judi Delgado: March 02, 2021
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    I could really see your morning evolving because you write so well. Duh. You teach writing, so of course you do, LOL.. I love your handwriting as well.

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