Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Be a Poet

To be a poet,
You need the nerve to call yourself a poet.
Don’t listen to those voices from without
(Find a friendly reader)
Or within
(Be kind, but firmly dismiss that inner critic, bye-bye)

Get a pencil without an eraser
(Don’t erase –cross out if you must- your “mistakes” and trials might just go somewhere, someday)
Visit them often, and while you are there, read them aloud, let them roll off your tongue
And play on the wind)
And a pad of paper, or a notebook, better yet. That fits in your pocket.
You never know when the muse will strike, like at the grocery store
While your selecting canned beans
And likely you will
Want to write,
Then and there.
(It’s OK to practice your quick draw, like the word-slinger you are,
Right in front of the hall mirror)

Listen to the narrator, the one doing the play-by-play
Silently in your head
Listen to the color commentator too.
Jot down some of these thoughts.
Dig it, and dig through this,
It’s the mother lode.
Check ‘em out. Write down others you think might give them company.

Play; by all means play with these words.
Sculpt them into a phrase
Listen to the sounds and rhythms of the words
Do the bounce and dance?
Do they take a chance?

Rhyme is fun, but it seems to only work
On even days of the week
And/or months with the letter “r”
(Check your calendar)

Prose is user friendly and you can
Break the
Lines wherever you

Don’t get married to what you write or how.
A steamy affair might just serve you better.
And know this.
Sometimes all of this just doesn’t work.
So have a sense of humor
And be patient.
Even the great Mickey Mantle (his parents were poets in his naming!)
Only got a hit 3 out of 10 times.
(You are likely to do better, with your pencil and paper)

Read some poetry
Find an author you like,
Don’t worry about what it “means”
If it is good poetry, for you,
You’ll know.

Try a metaphor, look it up if you’re not sure
They’ll help to convey ideas when
Words alone fail
That’s what they are
Symbolically speaking,
And similes will make you smile
Like a Cheshire cat.
So find a quiet place,
Oh did I mention that?

And call yourself a poet
By all means.
Your first year’s dues are paid in full
(You can thank me later.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The morning light weaves through the tree top leaves
As if it was impatient and anxious to reach out over the millions of mile
And warmly embrace the Earth, our flesh
Sharing its life giving strength patiently and constantly
On this longest of days
Which begins with the chatter of birds
Effusing like long lost friends once separated by the dark of night
Now reunited for a daylong merriment
And ends with fireflies blinking their joyfully devious signals
Across the dew covered lawns of June.
And so like so many before
Will you dance with your shadow?
Will you circle with the Sun
Madly spinning
And marvel at the wonder of it all?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Things that go bump in the night:
Four in the morning
Three adorable raccoons
Two of which could barely toddle
One family
Working the night shift
Prowling in the shadows on my back porch
Munching sunflower seeds
And sipping humming bird nectar.
A brief moment at the center of the universe.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Australian Fly-About

Yvonne Sanderson’s latest collection of Australian aerial landscapes once again proves her photographic talent in knowing just when to push the shutter, a gift many aspire to but few achieve.

Her series, Australian Fly-About imaged in the Outback, has created a mesmerizing tour of ancient lands, dry and barren, interspersed with recent anachronistic floods. In this robust series of images she has blurred the edges of reality by distancing herself and rising above ground level point of view just enough to allow the mind’s eye to question the abstraction, while leaving the connecting forms of geology, water, air, distance and light to challenge the sensations of those things almost familiar.

Yvonne’s pallet of color, texture and shape satisfies and rewards the viewer’s eye, yet pleasantly creates the dissonances of distant dreams. The universal reality of these photographs lie somewhere between far-flung galaxies, measured in distance light years and the infinite beauty of a single simple cell.

Good on ya, mate!

See her photos at:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Play with It

In do time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I like to check the box scores in the morning
With coffee and something toasted,
See how players
I don’t know
In games I didn’t see
In cities I’ve once visited long ago
An offensive rebound here
An extra base hit…
Secretly rooting for a win streak
Or a playoff berth
Or at least a good showing.
I’m a fan of the hometown teams
From a hometown far away in time and place.
I cheer for the smaller players,
The ones with a sense of humor and a modicum
Of modesty,
No tattoos, no arrests, no handlers and entourage,
Just ones who like the sound of sneakers on gym floors
Or the smell of a leather mitt,
Players who quietly root for some other team
In a hometown or place
Where they once cheered too.