Words about the Poems

I’ll say some things about the poems section in regards to questions of “why” or “what for?”, etc.

First of all, it is a kind of practice, or a challenge to myself, which I have already failed at, to maintain a writing practice of some sort. I determined to write one poem every day for 30 days. This lasted for 12 days. After some recriminations and deliberations I decided not to care so much about it. Giving myself the challenge, the path on which to embark, made something happen, which was the primary aim. I got 13 poems in 12 days. That was enough for purpose #2.

This is a project of intuition. I lead and am led. I guide and am guided. All according to a sense of presence I cultivate as I am committing to poetry. Presence is an allowance you pay to yourself. The poem is where I am spending the allowance. Words make forms which bond and break with other forms. I don’t know in advance how that will happen. All I do is allow for the discovery to be made.

Discoveries come from the exchange between the poem and myself. Between these two “things” is a subworld, a passage, a bonding zone of many, many exchanges among lots of little “things”. I make choices in the moment, like putting the word “thing” into quotes. I have it in for the word “thing”, apparently. This is the kind of choice I will make based on some temporary condition I find myself in. Reasons for doing things can feel arbitrary because the way the words will bond is still a mystery. My thought stream is altered by what I am at present choosing, but my choice is made by unconscious forces that present something to myself, which is when discoveries are more likely to happen.

I don’t consider myself a poet because so often I find thinking this way about myself disturbs the poem(t). The expectations heaped on to the poet self are too great and tend to bend the poem’s purpose away from the authentic experience and the aim of expression. I haven’t been a poet before. I’m not a “poetry junkie”. I discovered just recently that sitting with and composing a poem turns flurries into forms. I see and think in words and poetry felt natural in a way it hadn’t before, even though I have written poems in the past. The form facilitated expression of thoughts and various non-mental experiences which I feel unable to articulate in any other form.

Poetry shines a light on the manner of my speaking, whether it’s to other people or to myself. On any given day, most of what comes out of my mouth is tinctured with irony or sarcasm or I am grabbing for some kind of hopeful hidden insight. Why this is I cannot fully explain or even want to, though I can converse about it. I have theories. The light of poetry allows it to be seen. Composing a poem clears the pathways between my mind and body and between my thoughts and the impression on you the reader. The path to and from some original place, original meaning, and the source of what is here-to-be-lived opens up to an unending expanse where poems become merely fluttering bits of purposefully patterned thoughtwaves. I see I am both big and small because of poem writing.

This poem “Nature” is really about desire. Or maybe not. I began with “Nature”, looked for some origin knowing one was there, and found it in desire. Nature is infused with desire. All around us and within us Nature moves with desire. It moves us towards something else. The desire is for unity with something else. The birds and the bees. I knew this already, intellectually, but poetry keeps it fresh, keeps alive the eternal new, keeps me at the exchange between me and everything. So, I wondered and discovered something I already knew and was changed forever. This is why I write.

Thanks for reading if you did!


All the living, all who now stride or squirm
and play with remembered shapes on this firm
Earth, chase the memory of desire out
past fear, past death’s black curtain house.

Like fire thrown into opens spaces
alters what is known, igniting paces
set in wanting waves lifted from the night,
desire plays between the form and the light

where memory begins and ends, and where
time’s bed is made and unmade in wanting waves
up stairs and down; behind death’s black certainty
glows a secret light against the curtain.

1 thought on “Words about the Poems”

  1. This is so beautifully written. I especially love the paragraph that starts “Poetry shines a light…” Goodness, that one gave me goosebumps. And the poem Nature is so lovely as well. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.


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