How I want to write poetry. And how I don’t.

I can’t always do it. I would never be openly showy or make any form of art before an audience. I don’t think I could. Challenges or prompts during writing group meetings and a few online are the most I can do in social settings where people know me. Other than that, my writing is a solitary effort, although I’m not exactly the poster boy of the garret-imprisoned scribe. I do write in coffee shops, libraries, parks, waiting or dining rooms, and even during my morning walks. But usually I write at this desk on this laptop.

Yet, I have times of emotional outburst writing. At least one reader seems to know or recognize exactly when that happens. I love the experience, and I find satisfaction when I read my scribble after the excitement has passed. If I can let go of something within me, an inner editor, judge, or critic, I like what happens. I feel so free. It’s about emotionally letting go of something.

I don’t listen to music when I read or write. I can only tolerate classical type without being distracted. I am not sure how it would work. I may try it sometime.

In order to give you an example for what I have in mind, I did some research on a well-known artist who I am familiar with. Well, I thought I was. Nothing about the art is independent of the artist—not the form, method, appeal, depth, or reputation.

Jonas Gerard of Ashville, TN, puts on an impressive show. The personal emotion he displays in making his art is the poster for explaining how I sometimes want to write, especially poetry. I have been to his studio, I have talked to him and several of his assistants, and I bought some of his work.

The youtube video below is an example of what I mean (he did a number of these). The vision of personal emotion (fake or real) is inspiring. But, artist or not, apparently old Jonas (he’s 78 or so) has had issues with untoward behavior (sexual harassment, maybe assault) in his past. I never put this guy on a pedestal or thought of him as anything more than a cool modern artist. Yet, I’m disappointed, angry, and confused. Because of what I learned, I considered not writing this piece or posting it.

But this is about me and I agree with what he says in the video about fear.

I want to write with emotional vigor displayed by Jonas Gerard when he paints. I want to let go, as he mentions. I love it when I can let go. It’s the temporary feeling and process I enjoy. The product, like all writing, will outlive the writer.

Look both ways. Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.
Mind the gaps but dismiss excuses.

Poetry: Sound

See it, good and bad, it’s there
but not silent.
Connections have sounds,
vibrations from nature
give pleasantries, threats, and
danger its voice.

Acoustic waves of sound,
perceived in brains
through resonance with timbre.
We hear the soft breezes and roaring
winds perceived as warning,
we hear gentle rains in nature’s
song, and we know the destruction
of the hard driving, relentless torrent.
Quieter or louder, we feel
the sonic texture before our
brains make sense of thunder
and lightning,
before the train passes,
before volcano eruptions
or earth quakes. We hear.

We welcome the pleasantry
of music to our ears, yet we
know the damage of unprotected
loudness, of sonic torture. We
see with our ears, we determine
location, we find friend or foe.

The gift of hearing stands out
not to be assumed as always
there. If no sound is heard,
it did not exist for us.

Without hearing,
our connection with nature is lost.
And maybe with love.

Listen to the rhythm, hear
and feel the music deep inside
your body—then dance.
Dance.

Hear the sounds but see
them mindfully taking mental
shapes—the arts—the senses—
never to be assumed,
never ignored, to be both
cherished and used. Sense all
of life: the sights, sounds,
the tastes and the smells.
Feel the touches of it all
and welcome it until only
the sound of silence
remains.
And a lover’s voice,

listen, hear, love that sound.
Listen, listen, listen; hush.

Look both ways and listen to the sounds.
Hear the drop of rain fall into the distant gap.

Why Two things?

Almost everyone wants
to be a writer, claims
Clive James.

I am two things:
an old man of a type or
a kind, and I am
a writer of some sort.

But I
am not of the almost
or even most who
want to be. It is
what I am.
An identity.

Some things I do
because I must –
I eat, shower,
shit and shave –
walk about and I
swim. I take pills
and shots of various
kinds in odd places
like my right ear
or part of my derriere.

I read because I
must, but also
because I want to
just for pleasure.

Why do I write?
I don’t have to,
but it’s like I
need to. If I
don’t, I’ll become
impacted with
words. My muse
may stop visiting
and my mind will
go and I will die
from constipation
of expression.

So, I write this shit
and it feels good.
The old man part is okay
but can’t say it feels as good.

Look both ways at the buffet of life, sample it all.
Mind the gaps to find a treasure of pleasure.

Poetry: To Relax

Sit, stand, or lie
it’s the letting go
for a short time,
the normal
pace and musts of life.
To relax,
to retreat,
down time,
that sweet restful quietude of
peaceful nothingness,
without guilt or thought
of undone projects or
of others and their needs
or of love. Just the calm,
doing only what sustains
life—
enough breaths
in and out to be
conscious and aware
of the peace,
the silence,
nothing but the
sounds of time
passing, well spent
recovering fully
from living.

© Bill Reynolds 5/7/2019

Chill for now, look later to see both ways.
While in relaxing rest, gaps are meaningless.

Poetry: Salty Meditation (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-nine

Today I am writing to you from the boonies of Colorado City, Texas. My Monday morning challenge was to produce a meditative poem from a position of tranquility (it is like that here this morning, but I’m snickering), on an emotion I have felt powerfully. I’m not sure what I did, but I felt that.

Salty is a state of mind
on the inside;
on the outside,
Salty is all personality
one must acquire
a taste for the attitude,
with peppery retorts,
for a bit of salt
poured
on the wound,
for the taste of a tear
on my lips,
off your cheek,
on the rim of my Margarita,
or on my hands
with lime juice
for shots of tequila.
Today
my state of mind
is Salty.
© Bill Reynolds, 4/29/2019

Look both ways, attitude follows attitude. Mind the gap in meditative morality.

Poetry: Invisible Friend (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-eight

Today’s prompt was to write a poem about a poem, called a metapoem. I have written such before, but I did not realize there was a name. My poem is about poetry and me.

Like an invisible friend or part
of me, you were always there,
growing and forming, but
unseen by me—unloved
until now—so near
the end of my journey: my life.

My denial of self-darkened
truth, blinded me,
fed my pitiful rejection,
my failure to see you
always there, always with me.
Always you, but part me too.

Is it sad I never had
such; due to my own blindness?
Or do I celebrate the late love,
discovery of passion and purpose?
I must live today playfully
swimming in the purpose of verse.

Now enter my mind, my body,
and open this man’s soul to
the poetry—a part of me, I
didn’t even know I had.

Look both ways to find part of you, that you may be all of you. Mind the gaps but see them, touch them, feel them, look within for the parts that will complete you.

Poetry: The Autumnist (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-five

Taking a cue from the John Keats poem, To Autumn, I must write a poem that is specific to a season, uses imagery related to five senses (I used more than five), and includes a rhetorical question, such as where are the songs of spring from the Keats poem.

Wasted days and wasted nights
for the sheer pleasure of guiltless
unproductive quietude of awareness,
as days are for summer, so are
nights fit for winter.
Loving both, I favor the transitions
of dusk and dawn, different but equal.

Each year, I am not the same person
I was. Nor am I the same each season.
I am at least four, maybe more
as I sense the changes each year
with each season, each day
brings new perceptions.

I belong within reality and metaphorically,
spiritually, and practically
somewhere within a transition
from summer to winter. An
autumnist is what I am,
but different of type with the
arrival of my knowing about cold
temperatures before I walk
and see changing leaves, I miss the
now gone migrating birds.
I do not hear them now.

Gradually, it seems, everyone thinks pumpkin
is my choice of taste, and the
traditional spice. Smell that
pumpkin pie or is that your latte?

The brisk autumn air is more
noticeable than in spring. It feels
different, more promising.

Pain seems less in Fall than
in Summer. I dance more at
Octoberfest, my balance is stable
and my sense of thirst has proven
stronger. I know my place
during those months with Halloween
and Thanksgiving.

Even my sense of passing time,
it’s more acute when the dog days
have come and gone. It is Spring
now—who will I be this year?
And next? What then? And
what about you?

© Bill Reynolds, 4/25/2019

Look both ways for seasons gone and those in years yet to come.
Mind the gaps when days visit from other times.