Friday, July 29, 2011


You have noticed, no doubt, that I broke my promise to post more poems soon. The big reason for this is that I have been slacking in the writing department. I did spend a little time reading and a lot of time living life, but wasn't it just a few months ago that I wrote a poem every single day? Why can't I even do a seventh as much work?

Well, no more. Naomi Shihab Nye, a poet I admire, has chastened me. In a recent discussion (it's only 3 minutes long to watch, and less than that to read) Nye commented on the importance of not only reading and collecting poetry, but of responding to it--of writing. I've let nearly a month go by without doing either, and I'm getting back on the bandwagon. Verses and voices will be drifting your way.

Though most of the reason I didn't post is that I simply did not give time to writing, part of it is an unwillingness to share what I did manage to get onto paper.

An example is the preceding post "Ten Over." I wrote half of it and stopped, not liking it. It's still not what I would call my best work, but I've reconciled myself to posting it. The problem is not so much with what the poem is, but with what I expected it to be. When I started writing, I had something specific in mind that I wanted to accomplish with the poem, and in the process of writing it the poem became something else entirely. This actually happens more often than not in my writing, that a work grows to become something all its own, in spite of any plans I may have had for it at the outset. Often this is what gives life to the poem, or what saves it from being horribly contrived. I go back and read it again, wondering where all those great images came from.

But other times it is disappointing. I started three poems this month (which tells you that even if I'd finished all of them I would still owe you several posts) but didn't finish any of them in one sitting. What happened to letting the blog be a place for rough drafts and spontaneity? What happened to being confident that hardly anyone reads it anyway, so there's no reason to be embarrassed about anything I post?

I'll see what I can do. Or, more to the point, what the poems can do. You'll be the first to know.

Ten Over

Driving down the interstate again
with leapfrogging corvettes
and sauntering sedans
and one convertible.

Brown and red and green and white,
coupe and bug and pickup truck,
we all have our windows down
to share the rushing wind.

Tapping on the driver's panel door
or on the roof above his head
or coasting careless in the air
left-hand fingers dance.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cowboy's Blessing

I'm two weeks behind! I'm sorry! Poems on the way in a day or too, I promise.
In the meantime, please enjoy this poem I found printed on someone's door. A diligent google search failed to reveal the author. (That's not to say that nobody knows, just that I couldn't find it in less than seven and a half minutes.)

Cowboy's Blessing
May neither drouth, nor rain nor blizzard
Disturb the joy-juice in your gizzard!
And may you camp where wind won't hit you,
where snakes won't bite and bears won't git you!