It doesn’t take much to set a poem in motion.
Driving down a stretch of highway named for a U.S.S. Arizona survivor, a man who experienced the bombing of Pearl Harbor and came through it. What did he see? What can he say of what he felt?
I sat in the driver’s seat in the grocery store parking lot, letting the poem below fall out over some minutes, trying to stay out of its way. Then I walked through the parking lot and into the store in an emotional haze, amazed by and cursing the raw flow of such a thing.
It taps deeper into what I’ve been connecting with for the past nearly 18 months — letting go and feeling into it — through engaging honestly with The Artist’s Way and spiritual immersion in yoga, and reopening doors to my own poetic inclinations.
And in conversations with others, like artist Robyn Sean Peterson, who shared a quote with me that he describes as “a major touchstone” for him.
“A person is neither a thing nor a process but an opening through which the Absolute can manifest.” ~ Martin Heidegger
Listening to ourselves is a practice, and becomes a flow. There’s a lot of noise and “shoulds” out there that cloud our intuition. When we cut through it and plug in … it sets poetry into motion.
A Poem: I Want Poets
When another’s world, another’s life, another’s tether to all that is is frayed and on fire, I want a poet to tell me what it feels like
to bring me into the pain and the valor, the intensity and exhaustion, to make me wish I didn’t have the heart to know but grateful I have the heart to understand.
When the bombs and the screams and the salty waters of Pearl Harbor collided in chaos and virginities lost and futures being written at an unseen angle
When a father’s child is sacrificed to the hysteria of life’s unconscionable mysteries or bullets rip breaths out of bodies, peoples, eternities in far off lands
When all loses its threads of connection and hatred dials up starvation of another if only because it’s an other
I want poets to tap the jugular of wine-red life force, to hold a blue flame to the rawest nerves, for they breathe like bodhisattvas when agony sears
I want poets on the front line, so the records show the truth of humanity’s addled heartbeat, so my pulse will quicken until it explodes.
Only then, with the truth gnawed into our veins, the veins we deny we even share, will I and we and you know what we’ve done, who we’ve become and how far we’ve run.
All that, because I went for groceries and saw a sign. It doesn’t take much to set a poem in motion.