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Writing > Poetry

I SAW A POEM ONCE, decades ago, posted on a public bus, about snowflakes fluttering like moths around a porch light. The visual image this brief phrase conjured was so vivid, so expansive, and so right that it has never left my mind. I had been told in school that poetry was “condensed language,” but not until that moment had I ever truly understood what this meant. Not with my gut.

Since then I have encountered many more remarkable poems that, in a single line or two, opened insights or whole vistas I could wander through for hours—or years. Some of them were written by famous masters: Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, Langston Hughes, or dozens of others. Some of them were written by friends still in their teens. It was those younger friends who finally inspired me to start trying to write poems of my own. One of the virtues of younger friends, I have discovered, is that they do not know how to let you sleep. They keep waking you, at all hours, without even meaning to, both prodding you to live, and reminding you how it is done. 

The poetry I write is introspective and virtually never written for or to anyone other than myself. But, when time has passed and distance has developed between me and the moments that catalyze my poems, I sometimes share them with others. The links at right will take you to four of my very humble poems that seem potentially worth sharing. You will know better than I what they are worth.