Sometimes the ideas come in a rhythmic structure formed of words, and to me this feels like poetry. Some certain thing in my life is like the grain of sand in the oyster, layers of thought and image swirl, mix and harden around it until the grain of sand is no longer recognizable on the outside, but is still, and always, at the center of the pearl's existence, that gem of words, the poem.
My poems can be found in:
allpoetry, an alphabetical listing of all my poems
and in these pages built from my annual poetry readings including poems and art:
and also through links in the drop-down menu next to "poetry" in the menu at right.
Here's my latest:
THE CLOCK IN THE BATHROOM
The clock on my bathroom windowsill
tells whatever time it pleases.
A small, cheap battery-operated alarm clock,
the works inside have begun to let go
and the hands move independently of each other and of time,
skimming around the dial like birds circling in the sky,
flying first in opposite directions
I keep it because it’s mint green
and matches the new color scheme.
I am often late for things
and admit that most of my life
I have not taken time seriously
much to the consternation of those who wait for me.
Some say it’s the artist’s temperament
that I’m “out of touch with reality,”
that I’m “in my own world,”
but the truth is that there is always another creative idea
begging for attention,
and I have to give it its time
because that’s how creativity works.
That idea is not always a new painting
or a lyrical poem,
sometimes it’s the design for a customer’s logo,
or the perfect brochure copy for another’s promotion,
or the solution to why the website won’t work the way I think it should.
Sometimes I need to just be still and let thoughts happen
and leave time behind because the solution to the problem
is more important than the time it takes,
and the bright new bathroom, clean and open,
the window framing treetops and sky
just right for dreaming,
and the mint green clock on the windowsill
that tells whatever time it pleases
suits me just fine.
And while I am often late,
there are also days when I walk into the dark of this bathroom
and look at the deep void of night outside the window,
but the first questioning tweet of a robin rehearsing for the dawn chorus
warms the darkness,
and the light changes to reveal the silhouettes of the trees against the sky, black on black.
I have pursued the latest idea to the ends of my universe without question for the hour,
I contentedly watch the sky change from black to blue,
the birds now singing in earnest,
a gift to my exhausted creative mind, cramped hands and tired eyes.
Younger, I might have watched the entire show,
showered and gone on with my day, but not now.
I’ll nap, wake up later than I should,
and probably be late all day,
but I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
and the clock says it’s only12:37.
In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled "Stories From Home/First Person" for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. This area on the site still exists, and if you go all the way back in the list you'll see my entries.
In addition, I've had worked published online at hotmetalpress.com, which publishes four times a year. the previous season's poetry is removed, but I usually try to submit something each quarter. Locally, I've published in online or print journals that are available by subscription, the Iron Wheel and Micah Gems.
I was shocked and a little frightened when my poems were published on the PHC website (mentioned above). I had submitted when it was first offered in September of that year and they received so many it took until December to read through them and choose the first group to be posted on the site. I was the second two pieces to be published from all those entries.
The executive director of my local public library, a place I've frequented all my life, and which is one of my graphic design customers, invited me to plan a poetry reading the following February, 2007, which would also feature my artwork. I lived through the experience, and composed another in January, 2008. I've posted them on my website so that you can read the poetry and watch the slideshow of the main pieces of art I featured at "Paths I Have Walked" from February 1, 2007, and "Winter Twilight" from January 24, 2008. I am proud to announce that I have had poems published on the Autumn 2006 edition of hotmetalpress, an online poetry journal!