I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake
in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,
the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,
used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,
abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,
gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls
who haven't quite gone totally wild, river eddies,
leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,
turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods,
the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands
of birds I've talked to all of my life, the dogs
that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow
me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.
I don't know what everything in the above poem means. Experience and age are probably essential to completely understand everything.
However, I do know this: Everyone needs to carry a poem around with them that states his/her beliefs. The words should be original, not phrases cut and pasted from some pop cultural artifact or something processed and sold. The words should be real and true and sincere and unabashed. The words should steer clear of politics and religion because those well-worn sentiments are best suited for bumper stickers and protest signs. I don't know if I can write something like this, but I'm going to try and when I finish, I'll fold it up and place it right next to my organ donor card.
There ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free,
muddywatersPS. Poem In Your Pocket Day is April 14th, so start selecting your poem today.