Poetry Days

For me, the days I write poetry kiss the ordinary with extra.

From the start, I enter a zone, oxygenated, fresh, a walk into the new or into the old with new sight. It is at once a fragile state and tensile strong. I begin with a touch of fairy dust, proceed into intense struggle, and emerge with a secret stash.

Are the works good, great, or perfect? Of course not. Those adjectives don’t really apply. Does it speak? Is the voice clear? Does the string hook you and pull you in? Does the silk envelop and lift? Those are better questions, along with myriad others.

This week, my husband’s brother Robert requested the rights to publish the poem I wrote to his, my husband’s, and their brother James’s father who died not many years ago.

“I am writing to request permission to use your poem about Daddy on a website documenting his WW2 activities along with activities of the 67th Armored Regiment and the 2nd Armored Division during WW2.  The website URL is: http://3mmemorials.com.”

Of course I said yes. Most poets would, and I liked this poem and writing and re-writing it very much. I was excited when Jonathan Kevin Rice accepted it into the Iodine Poetry Review, accepted some suggestions he made, and then was more than happy to see it published there. See my earlier post which contains the poem.

I promised in still another post to let you see two winners I had in the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Pinesong Awards 2017. Here they are.

Poetry of Witness, 2nd Place

His Time Has Come

Silently I stand, too young

to speak, only listen, see,

I am the accidental witness

to your race. How does one

so young see it all–your car

racing him head to head

down the road–his car flips

over and over, crashes near

me, but others reach you quicker,

try to pull you from the wreck,

your neck is broken; you are

a young black man I do not know.

I mourn, cry for the life you

never had, and now I see

the car that raced you–white

one with a stripe, return

from the opposite direction,

as though a first responder.

This time his lights are flashing;

he wears official clothes,

exits his squad car to take

charge, file white papers,

end the race he had begun.

He glares, warns me off.

That was then. Now I am

old; my voice returns.

I loved the Judge’s comments, Ray McManus, who said in judging he looked for two possibilities, validation and revelation. He said when poems do this, we don’t just read them, but feel them. He said “His Time Ha Come” was a tight-set poem that explores the agony of silence in our youth and how, in time, that voice returns. He liked especially that the poet leads to the revelation but leaves to the reader to imagine how the voice will return.

Here is the second one:

Up from the Cape Fear

Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award, Third Prize

From my upstairs window looking down, I see

a snake stretched out on sun-warmed gray stone.


Groggy from an afternoon’s nap, I think, charcoal,

round. What type of snake is this who sits upright, walks


on ground, like the serpent in Eve’s garden, neck high;

body spans entrance wing to wing in late summer sun.


Small head, I think, a black snake, or even a racer,

crawling on distended belly, full of rat. My son–


I am thick with sleep that won’t recede–he leaves

tomorrow for duty in Iraq. I see it as an omen.


Mesmerized, I watch, hypnotized by a snake

whose body is bigger, fuller, rounder than his head


who stretches out at 18 feet here in old N.C. We

entertain strange snakes that slither up from Cape Fear.


An albino moccasin, yellow underbelly, once

migrated up the banks of the dry river bed searching water


found us, his eyes red hot coals under the car. Head

raised, he slid aggressively toward us; this one lumbers.


Took two years’ research and a park ranger to discover

we harbored a Vietnamese cobra by our front door.


It’s okay, they don’t use other snakes’ holes;

they’ll keep wandering, looking for their own.



Learn more »
No Comment

Poem Wins Award

Happy my poem, “On Wings,” won an honorable mention in the Love category. I’ll be reading it on May 28, 2016, at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, along with the others. The program starts at 10:00, or earlier. Everyone is invited. After the reading, I’ll post the poem’s url. It will be published in the NCPS’s literary journal, Pinesong.
Dear Poets:
Here’s a complete list of the prize-winning poems and poets as selected by our distinguished judges:
North Carolina Poetry Society 2015-2016 Contest Results
Poet Laureate Award (Preliminary Judge Zeina Hashem Beck, Final Judge Poet Laureate of North Carolina Shelby Stevenson)
  • Description: A single prize of $100 for a serious poem, any subject, any style, maximum of 110 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text). Poems in this category are not published in Pinesong.
    Winner: “Dressing While Dying” by Stephanie Levin
    “Smoke” by Melissa Hassard
    “Pinning Chance” by Susan Lefler
    “Liminal” by Bill Griffin
    “Eclipse of a Blood Moon: Southport, North Carolina” by Mary Hennessy
    “Wild Dogs of Istanbul” by Andrea Bates
    In all other contests, the cash awards are $50 for First Prize, $25 for Second Prize and $15 for Third Prize. All the numbered prize poems and Honorable Mentions were offered publication in the 2016 edition of Pinesong. The number of Honorable Mentions awarded were at the discretion of the judges (maximum of three per contest).
    Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award (Judge Shaindel Beers)
    Sponsored by the family of Sallie Nixon
  • Poems written by adults for children 2 to 12 years of age.
  • Any form, any style, maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
    First Prize: “Nezumi to the kiln mice” by Susan Lefler
    Second Prize: “Snow Day” by Bonnie Korta
    Third Prize: “A Six-Year-Old Reads The Watership Down Film Picture Book” by Alice Osborn
    Honorable Mention: “Noah Knows Noise” by CarolynYork
    Honorable Mention: “Winter at Grandmother’s House” by Katherine Wolfe
    Honorable Mention: “Green Snakes, Grasshoppers, and Goldfish” by Stella Whitlock
    Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award (Judge Erica Goss)
    Sponsored by Dave Manning
  • Any form, any style, on the theme of love.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
    First Prize: “In Which Symmetry Holds Up a Mirror to Love” by C.G. Thompson
    Second Prize: “Not on Paper” by Jim Henley
    Third Prize: “Sailing” by David T. Manning
    Honorable Mention: “Toolbox” by Charles Wheeler
    Honorable Mention: “On Wings” by Joanna A. McKeithan
    Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award (Judge Roberta Beary)
    Sponsored by Sue Farlow and Bill Griffin
    (Since Haiku are traditionally untitled, the first line is given in place of the title.)
    First Prize: “my daughter has grown” by Martin Settle
    Second Prize: “fog drifts” by Melinda Myerly
    Third Prize: “mast year” by Peter Krones
    Honorable Mention: “fog weaving” by Debbie Strange
    Honorable Mention: “day’s run” by Mike Blottenberger
    Honorable Mention: “turning 50” by Keith Woodruff
    Joanna Catherine Scott Award (Judge Gilbert Allen)
    Sponsored by Joanna C. Scott
  • Sonnet or other traditional form (with the exception of sestinas).
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
    First Prize: “Eighteen Weeks” by Jenna Cornely
    Second Prize: “Hymn” by Beth Copeland
    Third Prize: “Peach Tree” by JS Absher
    Honorable Mention: “The Dying of the Light” by JoAnn Hoffman
    Honorable Mention: “Benediction” by Jane Shlensky
    Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award (Judge Steven Schroeder)
    Sponsored by Diana Pinckney
  • Any form, any style, including limericks.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
    First Prize: “Ladylike Behaviors” by Jane Shlensky
    Second Prize: “Me and Sam Ragan Hike Bluff Mountain in Search of a Certain Lady” by Bill Griffin
    Third Prize: “I’m Gonna Lose Weight!” by Melinda Lyerly
    Honorable Mention: “Now I See Maneki-nekos Wherever I Go” by Deborah H. Doolittle
    Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award (Judge Lola Haskins)
    Endowed by Pepper Worthington
  • Any form, any style, on the theme of American heritage, brotherhood/sisterhood, or nature.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
  • First Prize: “A Widow on Chester Street” by Ashley Memory
    Second Prize: “Radio Tower” by Preston Martin
    Third Prize: “Touch Me Not” by JS Absher
    Honorable Mention: “Learning to Plant by the Signs” by Jane Shlensky
    Honorable Mention: “Gasoline and Liquor” by Justin Hunt
    Honorable Mention: “Still Searching” by Les Brown
    Poetry of Courage Award (Judge Allison Blevins)
    Endowed by Ann Campanella
  • Any form, any style, on the theme of courage or crisis.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
    First Prize: “Outer Bark” by Martin Settle
    Second Prize: “Dysthymia” by Susan Alff
    Third Prize: “Remaining” by Stephanie Smith
    Honorable Mention: “Sky Walkers” by Valerie Macon
    Honorable Mention: “Ambushed After My Mother’s Funeral” by Susan Lefler
    Ruth Morris Moose Sestina Award
    Endowed by Ruth Moose
  • Any poem in the sestina form.
    First Prize: “Catch and Launch” by Julie Ann Cook
    Second Prize: “Death Tax” by Holly Cian
    Third Prize: “Neighbors” by Deborah H. Doolittle
    Honorable Mention: “Noir” by Bill Griffin
     Thomas H. McDill Award
    Sponsored by the Board of the NC Poetry Society
  • Any form, any style, maximum of 70 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
    First Prize: “Valentine” by Melissa Hassard
    Second Prize: “Labyrinth” by Susan Lefler
    Third Prize: “The Dance” by David T. Manning
    Honorable Mention: “corpus” by Sarah Edwards
    Poetry of Protest Award
    Co-Sponsored by Bob Katrin and Jacar Press
    First Prize: “Gunfight at the Badgett Range” by Stella Ward Whitlock
    Second Prize: “Winter Solstice” by Beth Copeland
    Third Prize: “Prayers” Mark Smith-Soto
    Honorable Mention: “Bluebird Prospective” by Joyce Brown
    Honorable Mention: “From Abu Grhraib to San Bernadino” by Eric Weil
    Honorable Mention: “Extinction of the Milky Way” by Claudine Moreau
    Congratulations to all the winning authors and all the participating authors who helped make our contests competitive!
Learn more »
No Comment

Poem Accepted Into Iodine Poetry Journal

I just recently had a poem accepted into Iodine Poetry Journal, Volume XVI, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2015-2016 entitled, “Silver Star, Silver Sand.” I wrote the poem about my father-in-law Kenneth A. McKethan, Sr., of Fayetteville, after he died. We went through his last days with him both painfully and gracefully.

Sometimes it is more difficult to write a poem about someone you know, but in this case, such intense visual images came to me as I thought of his last days, one day I just had to turn to poetry to frame the time.

Here it is, as it appears in Iodine Journal, editor of which is Jonathan Kevin Rice. It is an honor to have this appear alongside many fine poems. The journal is available for purchase from them.



At the last, he opened up like the famous night flower,

gave a glimpse of the bigness that lived inside him.

In his final days, he spoke sentiments we never knew he held.


Locked in tight, now loosened, he tied knots of relationship,

apologized he had been feeling bad,

asked, worried, if he had made my daughter sad.


In the final moments, I told him not to wrest one more tube

from his bleeding arm. He looked at me in full-blown lament,

and asked, Well, why not? At the end when I didn’t come


fast enough, he called for me, and of course, I came.

Stayed all night, followed every order to the letter,

listened to the teacher explain how to tamp down the top


of the ice cream drum, put away the sherbet he had been served

he had no fondness for anyway, even when he could taste,

but now, he couldn’t swallow.


He told us what we all those years had longed to hear:

He loved us. He loved us all, repeated that again and again, thanked

us for all we’d done for him. He told us to turn off the light


over his bed, but to leave the door a-jar. He told us three ladies, waiting,

we could leave his bedside, now; it was time he went to sleep.

Good night, he said, and smiled. He turned away, tucked himself


into the shadows of fading light, the silvery hourglass sands

descending slowly through the night, falling

into morning of the waking day.

Learn more »
No Comment

Mimosa Legacy

Mimosa Legacy

i.                                             Near the spreading mimosa canopy

we sat. Powder puffs soft and Southern formed a pink parade.

Sweet perfume lingered from that world, a world of

Our Father’s filled with hummingbirds and butterflies.

From Lebanon this heirloom seedling came—a love note

Aunt Peggy sent us off the mother tree; a daughter mimosa

blessed our return from foreign soil, home. That tiny seedling

grew, swollen to capacity like a giant umbrella shading our yard,

teemed with life, this year, like Lebanon’s original one had,

like Grandma’s did in Dunn. As children, we girls scaled

the tree, picked its sweet-scented puffs. Other heirloom plantings,

hand cut with love, seedlings and crocuses met us winging

home from overseas. I treasured the poetry of the flowers

Peggy shared, tossed across the highway divide like a bouquet—

heritage flowers bearing names that read like A Child’s Garden

of Verses—lily of the valley, daffodil and jonquil, peonies

and pansies, magnolia, Star of David, antique rose and mums,

silver bells and cockle shells.


ii.                                             I can see Aunt Peggy kneeling

by the great elm oak—bed around its roots trowel-tended,

flowers birthed under deft strokes by fingers which mastered

the ivories as well, bounced over keys. She sang songs appropriate

to every occasion, silly or serious, like Toothpick Alice

who washed herself down the tub drain. We heard her play

the Blues, Broadway hits, Bach’s cantatas, Czerny’s exercises,

Bethoven, Mozart, and Liszt. Peggy and Granny Mac gathered

us around the baby grand with hymns we all would sing.

Aunt Peggy’s wit was a sharp tool that honed a pithy truth,

words sliced facts accurately. Grandma’s character alive

in just three words, “whim of iron.” To the man who died

in a flight of helium balloons tied onto his chair, the word

was, “Let that be a lesson to him.”


iii.                                              Aunt Peggy poured skill

and energy into the arts, brought symphonies to the school,

art exhibits to the county. At First Presbyterian, she chose

the Sunday anthem, taught choir members how to pronounce,

hold notes, come in on time, hit the right key. Her soft spot,

her passion, was her children, inviting cousins in, as well.

Family watched as hope dipped to agony as for two hours

we searched for Gene. She wandered, heart breaking, until

she found him slumped low in the jeep asleep after a game

of hide ‘n seek. She burned the highway up looking for Louise

and me. Lost in the woods two miles down. Anger surfaced

once we were safe, in justice meted out—me banned from

your presence, separated two weeks—one for each hour of pain.


iv.                                             We spent a winter with you

at Lebanon when our heater broke. Aunt Peggy and Uncle Gene

absorbed us as their own; she invited us to Christmas in MacDonald;

where I read stories to Granny Mac in bed. Aunt Peggy followed

each of us with avid interest, detailed her grandchildren’s, great-nephews’

and nieces’ whereabouts, talents, interests, hurts, and victories

with love and concern. She dared tell me when my mothering

should change. Aunt Peggy’s presence lingers among us, joins

that of Uncle Gene’s: their legacy is our heritage. A canopy

of  blossoms rises from green leaves, forms a house like a mimosa

of diversely-grafted children, scented flowers, of rosemary and sage.


Learn more »
No Comment


First Steps to Fulfilling Your Destiny

Dreaming is a 100-percent effectual way to get ahead. Believe me. Nothing that I am now seeing accomplished professionally or personally would ever have happened without my first having dreamed it.

When I first began ramping up to do watercolors, I was full of fear. I must not have seemed fearful to my aunt who thought she needed to deter me from harmful activity. Long years before I had any paintings to my name, when I was pregnant with my lovely first-born daughter, my aunt said to me, “Well, I guess you won’t be able to pursue your painting now, will you?”

Add anger to dreaming, and maybe you have come upon a magic combo. I have never been so angry in all my life. I fumed, fretted, and banged doors and tables. Mean, I thought. I griped about it to my husband. Then the inherited determination from both sides  kicked in, and I thought to myself, you’ll see. To make sure I would continue, I locked in my supplies for watercolors. Watercolors dried quickly and emitted no poisonous fumes in the house that would threaten my baby. I could rely on them.

That new resolve had to be postponed due to our move to Germany, so until I had a stable base, my dream could not go forward. Once there, with house and furniture, I started on the dining room table in the middle of all the activity, because I knew I could progress in short spurts of intense activity in defying her pronouncement. I started out ever so tenuously; beginning with teeny antique bud vases filled with the miniscule violets Erika would later pick on her way home from where the bus dropped her.

At some point I began writing a poem from the experience. This has since been published in literary magazines and in an English-Russian anthology. It appears in Russian and in English. A phrase from it embellishes the book’s divider page. You can hear my anger in the ‘you say,’ I think.

“Of a Substance Strong Enough

Dreams are great, you say,  for night-time–

like wispy clouds  that disappear at noon.

But I say dreams  are spit and fiber

spun and thrown  like spider webs–

filmy filament  which sticks mid-air,

catches and holds tight enough

for you to climb, run, live  (nest your babies on)

and yet,  still make it there.”

2d Publication rights, Earth and Soul: An

Anthology of NC Poets, Kostroma, Russian/English, 2001

Crucible, Warren Wilson University and The Lyricist, Campbell University

Imagine my extreme surprise years later, when I read an article on the ballooning action of spiders. It seems airplanes encountered much difficulty running into systems of spider webs high in the sky. Spiders build webs higher than anyone would earlier have imagined possible.

It seems that spiders, especially small ones and some other creatures, propel themselves upwards with a mechanical process called ballooning, or kiting.

They spin a very fine silk, called gossamer, to lift themselves off a surface. Then they use the silk as an anchor in mid-air. This fine silk has been called ‘gossamer’ since 1325 according to the Oxford dictionary. Again, no one knew then that gossamer was derived from spiders.

After hatching, a spiderling will climb as high as it can. It then stands on raised legs with its abdomen pointed upwards, a process called ‘tiptoeing.’ Then it releases several silk threads from its abdomen which produce a triangular-shaped parachute which will carry the spider away in updrafts. Even small gusts work. They may not go very far, or they may end up in a jet stream, depending on many components, but their trip could extend into the upper atmosphere.

Sailors have reported spiders in their ship’s sails miles from land. They can live a month without food. Evidently ballooning is the main way spiders migrate to isolated islands and mountaintops. They have been found as high as 16000 feet above sea level and on the tops of mountains and can live without food for close to a month.

Even without knowing this I wrote the phrase, “Dreams are spit and fiber, spun and thrown like spiderwebs….” It is gratifying to describe how something seems and have it proved factual. The odd thing is that this was the one phrase in my poem contested by a Russian sister-city poet, the phrase, ‘spit and fiber,’ was deemed unpoetic.

IMG_2406It is no small wonder that one of my favorite artistic and written images is the spider web, lace, tatting, tobacco-twine-tied coverlets, and fishing nets. My most recently finished painting is Crab-Net, with beautiful North Carolina blue crabs caught in the holes. The entire painting, done in watercolor, is accomplished in the negative, a painting process thought very difficult by most painters. It involves seeing in the negative, and painting the holes is also the largest kingpin step in the discipline of using the right-brained creative process. Only the space between the threads is painted because in transparent watercolor, one must leave the white of the paper showing to create the white. Another painting, “Dockside,” uses a net as a portrait background for an old sailor. A third painting has a net background with a harpoon, “Sea-Lit, the Sperm Whale Era.”IMG_2394

About seven years ago, I began leading creativity courses from my business j’Originals Art & Teaching Studio, and through a local church. I had just finished reading Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, in which we were encouraged to write three pages of unedited, stream of consciousness prose first thing in a day in a journal. We signed a contract with ourselves that committed to three months of seriously trying these things out. We agreed to make a ‘date’ with ourselves once a week to do something that our artistic child would love to do, all by ourselves. There was a creed and a prayer that we repeated for strength.

The purpose of the whole process was to make ourselves our own best friend, to bring ourselves to where we could trust ourselves. I began the experiment which I now cannot live without. After these seven years of more or less consistently doing this (I have around 30 journals to show for it or perhaps I’d better not show), I have learned its truth. What you dream, happens. Julia Cameron calls this ‘serendipity.’ Besides having the joy of that happening, I have learned that what you hate and journal, you can give up in minutes.

In short, this process recreated for me the means for ‘ballooning,’ for ‘tiptoeing,’ for reaching upwards and outwards from your gut, having faith, for trusting what or who comes in off the street, and for catching the updrafts of my dreams. # # #

Learn more »
No Comment

Poetry: What Are Its Springs?

   Poetry—lovely language, brevity of speech, rhythm—probably all of these are qualities we think of when we think of poetry. A lot of us still must add “end rhyme” to the definition, a process which has fallen into disrepute for poets, probably due to the poor quality of rhyming choices and the demise of good English language useage, not to mention the stilting limitation to poetic patterns of speech that using end-rhymes suggests.

Still we all recognize poetry when we hear it, pretty much.

But whence the poetry, what indescribable place in the soul or psyche is the poem pulled from, and what motivates the writer to draw from this secret place?

I haven’t started writing with a pre-defined answer; this is a discovery article. Still, the first thing that pops into my mind is authority. A poem comes from a place of absolute authority—not the ruler-wielding picture that may come to mind, but the place of knowledge. Poetry comes from a place that you know that you know that you know. You have “seen” something that no one has seen as intensely or clearly or transforming as you. The words may be in question, but the kernel, the inchoate mass of discovery, is not.

Let that thread hang for a minute.

Poetry springs from a voice that you hear. Yes, it is your voice, but it is unlike your everyday voice. It is unlike your tentative, insecure voice. This voice streams in the window of your soul with a pronouncement, “The day swept in, in thirty shades of grey.” “No one kills a succulent.” It bears a finality about it, a certainty, but an oddness that requires an explanation, a paradoxical truth that is not a plain truth in any way. It is a secret discovered and shared with the reader in a spirit of confidentiality and urgency.

Leave out the categories—narrative, lyrical, confessional—for a moment.

A narrator lives in that voice. But where does the voice live? Is it a song? And from what do songs spring? Well, from sadness or joy. From grief, loneliness, fellowship. From a moment of time which impinges to such a degree and in such a strong way that it must be expressed. Urgency: I have so much to say. Things need saying, because they will help people. They will connect with people. Things will burst open inside of me if they are not expressed.

Let me share a couple of my own poems, since I know them best. My dream poem started as an argument. Of course the tension was in my own soul, but the challenge came from outside. My aunt concluded that since I expected a baby, I wouldn’t be able to write. Or paint. And this is the poem that emerged from the internal struggle her comment produced:


“Dream are great, you say,

for nighttime—like wispy clouds

that disappear at noon.

But I say dreams

are spit and fiber

spun and thrown

like spider webs—filmy filament

that sticks mid-air

catches and holds tight enough

for you to climb, run, live

(nest your babies on)

and yet,

still make it there.”


Forget the tendentious “where is ‘there?’” Well, wherever your dream takes you, of course. I can’t spell out where your dream will take you. This poem was published in three different venues—in Sanskrit, Vol.20, Spring, 1989, UNC-Charlotte, and in Earth and Soul, an Anthology of North Carolina Poetry (Semlia I Ludsha, Antologia Rossii Severnoi Karolinia), 1st in English, 2nd in Russian, and parts were used for sectional divisions within that book.

Here is a poem that began with poignancy as the well, the springs that pushed the word and thought further…a kind of poignant revelation that I couldn’t stand until I had expressed to some degree of satisfaction. It’s what a poet does instead of crying; it’s an exquisite agony of soul.



When the whippoorwill

begins his evensong,

shadows lengthen, disappear,

as darkness joins them;

the trees turn black:

you want to catch fireflies.


A hundred such evenings

telescope into this one,

gone but here, missing yet

reflected in fragmented

crystals of blinking, cold light,

called, like a cloud of witnesses

to share the sacred moment:

childhood passed on.” Joanna McKethan, The Lyricist, Vo. XXIV, Spring

1990, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC

Fill This Empty Canvas, A Poetry Chapbook


For me, purity is another spring. I pause with near reverence when I approach something so pure it is almost holy—something you do not want to sully by touching. It is a moment of transcendence when we are lifted higher than our feet can jump. It is a note of a song that haunts us, or a word in a language we knew once, and we must strain to transcribe with any accuracy at all. We struggle, we stutter, we battle words and lines and feelings until we finally hold the best template, the most accurate bowl to the light and fill it with all those marinated moments from the soul. Each one a new dish, an exploding delight, if to no one else, then to the poet who has finally turned her exquisite sadness or joy into words of an otherness not everyday normal. Springs of colder water that refresh. Springs of bitterness expunged. Springs of struggle temporarily resolved.

Authority. Voice. Discovery. Revelation. Extreme emotion. Purity. Something emerges from a deep place and takes you to another deep place with even more precision, even more delight that finally, has a name. A poetic expression is born that lies on a par with the gravity of the moment of revelation. An expression that may sound clever, but was not birthed for cleverness, but for momentous-ness; that really is like slowing down the motion of the ordinary to a delicate dance, or like straining to hear and see the haunting shape notes on a song that suddenly became “more” than you’ve always heard. That’s what poetry is for me. And yes, I think I can say this vaulted expression applies even to humorous poetry. So that’s my story, and for now, I’m sticking to it.


Learn more »
No Comment

Back to Top