Poetry and Hybrid Rasta Mama have an interesting relationship. Although there are poems that I have enjoyed, for the most part, traditional poetry never really grabs me. I love spoken word, probably because it seems more raw and emotion filled. But reading poetry? Meh. Not really for me.
My mom is a pretty well-known haiku writer. I do like haiku as it offers something more than traditional poetry. It has a flow to it that feels good. It resonates with me more for some reason.
Lauren Wayne of Hobo Mama fame, one of the two lovely mamas who founded and run the Natural Parents Network, is both an author and a poet in her own right. I had known for some time that she had a collection of poetry but had kind of ignored it. I always felt bad because I love supporting other mamas in their creative endeavors but truth be told, I was worried if I read it I would not like it. This would not be a function of Lauren or her poetic skills, but instead a function of my indifference to poetry.
Did you know that April is Poetry Month? Well it is and I decided what better way to support Lauren than to sit down, read Poetry of a Hobo Mama from start to finish, then share my impressions with you. I took off my “aversion to poetry glasses” and put on my “let's see what Hobo Mama brings to the table glasses.” You know what? I am really, really glad that I did.
I sling my baby like a bindle on my back,
tramping along the tracks
countless feet have worn before.
Poetry of a Hobo Mama contains three years' worth of parenting poetry, written from the time Lauren and her husband, Sam, were preparing for Mikko, through watching him grow to three years old. She has included poems that speak of their natural parenting journey — breastfeeding, the family bed, elimination communication, and natural birth among them.
The book is a combination of free verse and more traditional poetry forms, and the topics and tone run through all the variations the poet felt when writing them: the grief of miscarriage, the anticipation of trying to conceive, the upheaval of the newborn months, the joy of parenting, and the balance of motherhood with personal passion.
Lauren's book of poetry will grab you. It grabbed me hard. She writes from a place so deep inside that you almost get lost there at times. She bares her soul. She lets you into her happiness, her sadness, her joy, and her pain.
Lauren's poetry is intimate. From lines like “my uterus is an empty rented house” to “I'm just your mama, and this is what I call you now that I know what to call myself,” Lauren puts her entire being on the table, confidently vulnerable.
Object Lesson is a beautiful piece. I absolutely love the message it sends to mothers. It empowers them to feel better about the fact that motherhood has ups and downs but in the end, everything is worth it. This is my favorite passage:
I have wanted people to know
there is more than joy
in being a mother,
that there is frustration
strain on a marriage,
lack of sleep, lack of time, lack of peace.
The Last Child is by far my favorite poem. Whoa. That one got me. I was a teary eyed mess of a mama while reading it. Lauren writes what I feel about Tiny being my only child. Packing away each stage of development and growth is heartbreaking and all of us will one day have our last child whose things we pack away one last time. And for those of us who already have our last child…this poem is a little tough to get through.
Want another taste of some Hobo Mama poetry? Here is an eloquent take on how we covet our own time and space now but how we won't want it after we have it.
Until you move away
Pillow hog and space eater,
chubby legs kicking my thighs.
Starfish hands pushing my chest
and unh unh unh in the darkness
until I roll over and let you feed.
Dream interrupter, devourer of sleep,
you take while I wait
until you move away.
Lap hog and attention seeker,
sturdy body invading my space.
Starfish hand pulling my chin
to meet your gray-green eyes,
your chatter about octopi.
Poem interrupter, devourer of time,
you talk while I wait
until you move away.
Imagining a night with full sleep,
imagining a day with concentration,
Dreading the day
you move away.
If you like poetry, you will adore this collection from Lauren. If you hate poetry, you will adore this collection from Lauren. If you are on the fence about poetry, this collection will make you take notice of the beauty in poetic expression. It will also make you feel a whole lot better about your own experiences and feelings in this journey of life and motherhood.
Lauren of Hobo Mama is offering a giveaway of her parenting poetry book, Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three Years. See details below!
About The Author
Lauren Wayne lives and writes in the Pacific Northwestern USA, with her husband, Sam, and their two sweet boys: four-year-old Mikko (almost five, he would tell you!) and ten-month-old baby Alrik (who persistently makes the concerned face you see in the picture at right). She has been writing and publishing poetry for twenty-five years, but parenting has added even more inspiration. Poetry allows her to be honest about her emotional journey and to show an image, pin down a feeling, in a way that other writing does not.
Lauren blogs at Hobo Mama about natural and attachment parenting, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at writing at LaurenWayne.com. She co-hosts the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting and is a cofounder of Natural Parents Network, a site that brings together attachment parents interested in a natural lifestyle.
Lauren and Mikko grace the book's cover — that's Lauren and Mikko breastfeeding in public on a Seattle beach when Mikko was just a few months old.
You can purchase your own copy of Poetry of a Hobo Mama at Amazon and CreateSpace. It's available internationally and on Kindle through Amazon. The list price is $11.99 for the paperback and $9.99 for the ebook.
Just for our readers, Lauren is offering a 20% discount on all book orders through CreateSpace only. (Amazon unfortunately won't allow coupon codes.) Enter code SAP84AYJ during the ordering process.
For your own chance to win a copy of Poetry of a Hobo Mama, enter by leaving a comment below.
Contest is open WORLDWIDE.
MANDATORY ENTRY: What is your favorite poem?
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Head over to Hobo Mama and read one of her recent posts. Then leave a comment on that post and link it back here so I know you did it!