The thing so sacred to you that you hardly dare say its name out loud -- THAT is what you must pursue. Relentlessly. " - W.S. Merwin, to me, following a reading of his poems in Honolulu. (We were talking about students who are "afraid to try to write poetry for fear of being embarrassed.") Merwin is a rock star in Hawaii, and I waited a long time to get into the auditorium to hear him read. He patiently spoke with everyone afterwards, and signed books. A humble, giving, genius.
Isn't he just a genius with words, Trish? Love his work.
I was saddened to read that his wife, Paula, had died.
I won honorable mention in a poetry contest judged by Mary Oliver for Tor House Newsletter back in the early 90's. After it was published a friend of mine who loved Mary Oliver and who was aware of the above Mary Oliver quote suggested that she may have chosen my poem in part because of its title. I hope you don't mind if I post it here. I later named my 1st and only poetry book by this same title.
The Certainty Of Looking Elsewhere
Inside the planetarium
a lovely woman is looking
through a telescope.
You are beside yourself with a stellar
urge to kiss her. All that you are sure
of is her lips.
There is just enough space,
if you position yourself
between the cold, hard telescope
her warm, soft mouth.
There is no stopping you.
She will have stars in her eyes.
She will tell you the children
need to be picked up from school.
She will tell you the roof is leaking;
that her sister is arriving
this weekend for a short visit.
You will tell her you don’t know
what got into you.
You will tell her your life
is passing you by.
You will tell her you love her
more than life itself.
She will step away from the telescope.
Her lipstick will be slightly smeared.
She will tell you to look here.
“Look here!” she says, and you will look
into the telescope. You will peer into the past.
Your heart will beat at the speed
of light. You will see with certainty
how even now,
you are looking elsewhere.
Love it, Mike. You should post your ”Cowboy” and “Falling Goat” poems
here for others to enjoy as well.
Belated congratulations, Mike!!!
That's a wonderful poem. It pulled me right in.
And thanks for sharing it with us.
Really wonderful poem Mike, not surprised it got a mention. It does that trick of pulling you out of yourself and broadening your sight.
Thank you Jordan. Thank you Maggie. Thank you David.
Maybe this "announcements forum" might include previously published works or, as Jordan suggested, OAF front page poems/writing/artwork that members want to share. I enjoyed being able to show off a bit by posting my.nearly 30 year old poem again and letting it out the book to stretch its legs.
Art work has it's own forum, Mike. And any poem is welcome in Submit. If it has some necessary footnote on its earned merits to be shared with the rest of us, it can be included with the poem in Submit.
Scribble Camp is not about front pages, nor will it ever be; It's a workroom; it's about sharing our knowledge of craft with one another. It keeps work from the public, and publishers' eyes.
We feed our muses by reading and writing, and encouraging each other, not positioning a piece in a front page-hyped artifice.
You could say we're an old school writing forum. Yup, you could say that and wouldn't be wrong.
Me? I personally prefer my jazz in the background.
Thank you Maggie for clarifying Scribble Camp's Mission Statement. I understand and agree wholeheartedly. Old school support system...workroom for writers...just what I was looking for. Thank you.