April is RIM Month AND National Poetry Month

Your_Poem_HereIn 1995, it started as a day. Then it expanded to a week. In 2003, it became a whole month. What am I cryptically referring to? Records and Information Management Month, a month-long observance to highlight the importance and purpose of managing information and to recognize those working in the profession. RIM Month is led by ARMA International, and they have developed posters, pamphlets, and other materials to help elevate the visibility of records management in organizations.

But you know what April also is? National Poetry Month! This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, a yearly celebration of the literary form that celebrates poetry’s fundamental place in our culture.

Records management and poetry are like chocolate and peanut butter – two great tastes that taste great together. So, to that end, we’re running a month-long celebration of both and asking you to join in! Throughout the month, we’ll be posting silly little poems, serious longer poems, and everything in between that we write about the field that connects us all together, and we’d love if you would send us anything you come up with, too!  Leave yours in the comments, and at the end of the month, we’ll showcase everyone’s creative work!

To get everyone in the artistic spirit, we in RMA tried our hand at some haikus:

Records management
As “other tasks as assigned”
Ain’t gonna cut it

Why is the shredder
On? Those records are on a
New destruction hold!

Records acknowledge
That business has transacted
Even redacted

Create to begin
Use, maintain, disposition
Life-cycle spinning

Records manager
Please don’t do it all yourself
We all need a team

A couple of limericks:

I wasn’t surprised by the inventory
Not really done to seek records glory
I was trying to find
Records of a certain kind
And it’s always the first chapter of the story

There once was a woman from Austin
Whose records got mysteriously lost in
A center that was lacking
Any system for tracking
She found it was a bin they were tossed in

(Note: She obviously wasn’t using the State Records Center!)

And a sestina that I originally wrote when I had to do an informative presentation as part of the interview process for this job:

Inventory: A Love Poem

I’ve kept all of your emails; I consider each a vital record
Necessary to our operation and historically valuable
I keep your texts as well, but for not as long,
Deleting them from phone but not memory after close
The letters you sent me in England are retained permanently
And are on exhibit for always in my mind

It’s embarrassing to admit and I hope you don’t mind
But I’ve created an inventory of all that’s fit to record
A litany of traits I want to archive permanently
Each series arranged, and all valuable
Like the way your eyes look when we’re close
Or the way you’ve managed to retain me so long

Sifting through these artifacts, I long
For the days when each was fresh in my mind
I didn’t require an index, for everything was close
At hand, and so new, it was barely a record
I didn’t know then how valuable
Each piece would become, and how I would need them permanently

Like glue in a scrapbook, these things hold us together permanently
Unlike us, the glue won’t last as long
Drying and flaking, it will release what is valuable
And lost, it may be retained in the back of some mind
But will remain too vague and oblique for someone to record
How does your heart know what memories to keep close?

Even before my eyes begin to close
I can see the way I want to remember you permanently
Like a well-known poem or a favorite record
The lines come automatically, the pauses are not long
Things like this are easily cataloged in a mind
That realizes that kisses, not PIN codes, are what’s valuable

You ask me what makes you valuable
And I pull you in close
To explain that if a retention schedule existed in my mind
Everything listed under “You” would say “Retain permanently
For vital purposes; for forever or as long
As it takes to inventory each wild and precious record.”

You’re vaulted in my mind, like anything valuable
And I wonder if I merit record to anything as close
As “permanently” – if not, I’ll take “long, long, long”

Happy writing, y’all!

One thought on “April is RIM Month AND National Poetry Month

  1. Pity ARMA doesn’t start advertising, reminding and pushing this in February like they did years ago trying to get records managers to have their city proclaim it RIM week or month. Now we never hear about it until like this week sometime in the middle of the month but I remember when……

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