Poetry


Poetall, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

Anything is subject for a poem :
A catalog of boxing equipment, a collage of other poems,
Serpentine trail of incense, raised deer fur, old shoes pointed pigeon-toed,
Glass and steel cityscape, almond eyes of a saint, weeping tiny flowers,
Sunlight on whitewashed walls, blue shadows of stooped women,
A spring mousetrap, a trickle of blood in the gutter,
The homing swoop of a gull, chill whitecapped bay, scent of eucalyptus.
Green lawn of broken blades, clods of fat earth.
Anything is subject for a poem.

Even in sleep, write a poem.
When waking, write a poem.
While loving, write a poem.
Even voting, write a poem.
When angry, write a poem.
While dreaming, write a poem.

The sages say quite seriously that those who wish to know better should cultivate the poet in themselves.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ~Leonard Cohen

Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. ~Carl Sandburg, Poetry Considered

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie -
True Poems flee.
~Emily Dickinson

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. Dead Poet’s Society

Breathe-in experience,
breathe-out poetry.
~Muriel Rukeyser

Poets aren’t very useful
Because they aren’t consumeful or very produceful.
~Ogden Nash

Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on August 4, 1792

“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

On a Poet’s Lips I Slept
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

from `Prometheus Unbound’

On a poet’s lips I slept
Dreaming like a love-adept
In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses,
But feeds on the aerial kisses
Of shapes that haunt thought’s wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom,
Nor heed nor see what things they be;
But from these create he can
Forms more real than living man,
Nurslings of immortality!
One of these awakened me,
And I sped to succour thee.

I tend to write poems when I am sad or unhappy. Which means, I haven’t written very many poems lately, since it’s been a long time since I’ve been really unhappy or sad. If you want to view some of my past poems, they are posted here.

I suppose could write more poems about the Tao, but these days, it’s sort of like this posting says, everything is poetry. I look outside and the wind blows through the trees, and I will just watch the leaves shifting back and forth, the sunlight playing off them, and I think, “ah.” I admire the soft texture and colors of my golden retriever’s fur, and I think “ah”. I look at the smooth curved edges and the deep cobalt blue color of my teapot and I think, “ah”. It just never ends…

Next times things are bothering you and you think there’s no solution, just take a few moments to look at something that is beautifully made, either natural or artificial. The grain of wood on the desk you are sitting at, the beautiful lines of the chair you are sitting in, the wonderful mystery of your very own skin when you look at it closely. And think, “ah”.