[Grandpa's note: Lilly from Lilly's Life left me a comment saying she wouldn't mind reading more about my writing career. I would love to oblige, but somehow on a very basic level, I don't know how to do the telling. Writing is just something I've always done. This poem, which is the title poem from my book that was published a few years ago wasn't originally about my writing (the one that follows it was). But it's a way to begin the telling.]
I had no way to tell you because words
made it a matter of mind. But that morning
two hawks in circle dance cried above me
as I longed for their wings, wished to grow wings.
Pictures, perhaps, but I was no painter
who could catch the crow flapping above mowed fields.
Nor was I a musician to make music
like the music of gulls rocked by the wind.
The mind would not do. That night I heard owls
& felt bones of mice under foot while I let
my cigarette burn itself out, wishing
only to extinguish the mind that raced
through thought after thought like a mockingbird
caught in a web of meaningless melody.
Originally published in A Matter of Mind, Foothills Publishing, 2004.
© copyright 2004, 2008 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog.
All rights reserved.
[The following poem, which I wrote sometime before 1978 (when it was included in my master's thesis--I went back to finish my bachelor's when I was 29) was meant to be about my relationship with writing, particularly writing poetry.]
Her child-combed hair that smells of hay,
Thighs dusted with plowed earth,
She sheds her patterned dress and climbs
The attic stairs to me.
And we collide among the cries
Of angry springs, sterile
Thrusts, and pain of ruined farmers'
Sons. A shotgun across
His chest, her father sleeps. Look. Smell
The sweat of honest work.
This girl works as hard as any
Man. Now she's mine, until
Dawn, when he and I see her work
The fields, saddle shoes filled
with air next to school books along
The road that melts in light.
Originally published in Poet Lore, Winter, 1985.
© copyright 2008 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog.
All rights reserved.
Just a little post script -- For the past six years, my office has been in the attic.