Dr. Matthew Mumber, a local radiation oncologist with Harbin Clinic, has always enjoyed writing since his college days at the University of Virginia. He’s written two health and wellness books over the years, but now he’s decided to take on a new challenge…writing poetry.
Mumber is one of eight writers selected to participate in 30/30 Project challenge and fundraiser for Tupelo Press, a nonprofit literary press. According to the project description, each month, volunteer poets run the equivalent of a “poetry marathon” in writing daily poems for an entire month, while being “sponsored” by folks to raise money. Details
“I took some poetry classes during my undergraduate studies at University of Virginia. About a year and half ago, I decided to start writing more in earnest, more so for my self-care and meditation…as a creative practice. I find I am feel more balanced when I have a creative outlet,” says Mumber.
“So, I decided to undertake this challenge where I write a new poem everyday for a month. I am lucky that I got February with only 28 days,” he laughs. “I actually had somewhat of a writer’s block over the last few months, so this has truly been a challenge to make myself disciplined to do it…it’s been good for me.”
Mumber says he’s been writing most mornings and looks forward to finding inspiration in his day.
“To write poetry, you have to be inspired by something. I see what catches my during the day…I think ‘what’s going to inspire me today?’ and it’s a really fun way to look at life,” he says.
You can read each of the eight writer’s poems daily online and donate. Here is Mumber’s most recent poem from Feb. 9:
Swimming / by Matthew Mumber
other worldly, gravity free
embrace, full body immersion,
timed breathing, breath hold,
the flags, lane lines and
lane markers on the pool bottom,
there’s a cross close to the wall
so I don’t forget to tuck, roll and turn,
toes touching a hard surface.
all is a muted wave
when it is going well, the flow,
the pace, the dismissal of pain,
pushing every last bodily part
to touch the wall
on some distant future shaved date
just a little
faster than ever before.
the days, seconds, yards
dark hours training,
others wearing the water cocoon
help me think
I am not crazy
while swimming, especially
on a long distance set
when the pace is just right,
there is a groove that cannot
be surpassed, perhaps its just brain opioids,
though it feels like arrival.