I Am From…a Poetry Exercise…

I just came across a little chapbook from Sue Reynolds’ Fearless Writers Spring 2004 Session. Some great poetry in it from my fellow participants. An archaeological look at some fine writers who have gone on to do great things since attending Sue’s workshop. If you EVER get an opportunity to be mentored by Sue Reynolds…just do it. No questions asked…just jump in–parachute free–and do it! She’s an exceptional teacher, and a passionate writer!

I thought I’d share the poem I have in the chapbook, mostly because I forgot it ever existed until just now. (-;

I AM FROM…

I am from the rusty Miramichi,

which swells and contracts to the heartbeat of the distant moon.

I am from the smiling lips of Shakespeare,

who tells the young lovers to look up into the night and shout out:

 “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

I am from that ancient of minds.

“It is the East,” I say, and I am from the sun.

“Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon,” which I am also from.

I am from the liquid reason of Neruda’s lines.

I am from the forest creatures

who beat a path to my door,

calling out my name through the darkness

of night’s great blanket.

I am from the place where dreams die.

I am from a woman who is strong and dark and proud…

a woman of this soil who tells me that what doesn’t kill us

makes us weaker, but more determined.

I am from that smell that escapes

off the tattered spines of books

in the ancient library.

I am from the sadness that breathes in loneliness

and the happiness that comes with remembering the dead.

I am from anger,

mounted foolishly out of false pride.

I am from the crumbling mountains

that yearn to be flat.

I am from Icarus,

the melted wax of his fallen dreams.

I am from the bridge we left behind

as the last Autumn leaves finished falling.

Thanks to Sue Reynolds for inspiring a whole group of writers to explore their worlds through words! Check out her Inkslingers Writing Workshops, Retreats, and Mentoring (which she does with James Dewar, another great writing mentor) here.

My Book of Nods – Ode to Jim Carroll

I wrote this the day JIM CARROLL died – September 11, 2009. I think it was one of the last poems I wrote.

Jim Carroll: August 1, 1949 – September 11, 2009 — Punk Rocker, Poet, Seer and Soother

My Book of Nods

My book of nods will neither contain
New York nor California variations.
It will not be a celebration for the tipping
of a head bent by the drug induced utopia
in which I loved to live.
Though I do nod often
to those days of gentle nodding.
I do enjoy the rush of remembrance
they bring to me,
the cool skin and icy head
of falling into space uncharted.
My book of nods will contain only one
slow and sleek nod,
reaching longingly toward a single poet
lost in survival, the struggle
of living and dying.
One nod to denote the end of my obsession,
a new name etched in ink that soon will dry
into the solemn book of people who have died.

RIP JIM.

Try out Jim’s posthumous novel, THE PETTING ZOO. Not his poetry, but a treasure for true Carroll fans.

%d bloggers like this: