I can’t really remember when I started writing poetry – perhaps in my high school years. Like everyone else, I read some poetry that was assigned in school and was touched by some of it; in particular I remember Robert Frost and e. e. cummings. I never studied it – just put words together in a way that was pleasing to me. Most of my poems consist of rhyming lines and regular stanzas, though I do stray from this now and then. The inspiration comes from a number of places. Sometimes I observe something that stirs a feeling and a phrase forms in my head – a collection of words that rolls pleasantly off the tongue and has a rhythmic lilt to it. I go into almost a trancelike state as I paint the scene or tell a story with another line and a rhyme (following are excerpts):
The plains of Alberta stretch off to the sky
As down this lonely two-lane we ride
From Athabasca to Grande Prairie
It’s small towns and hay bales and skinny birch trees
Sometimes it’s about a person, living:
Sing your heart out, sing for the crowd
Sing it soft and sing it loud
Words you crafted tell the tale
Of how we triumph and we fail
Or passed on:
My heart is slowly breaking from the emptiness around me
Where once your voice I counted on to laugh and to console.
From school days I have known you as a dear and true companion,
Through heartache and through triumph as the many years have rolled.
Sometimes I paint a scene from something I see or experience to give to someone as a gift:
This Hollywood day is waning
A distant hawk hovers in the pale blue
Against a backdrop of wispy clouds
The lazy pines and reaching ferns
Sway in a gentle pacific breeze, sent by the sea
O’er the concrete works of man.
Sometimes it’s an emotional outpouring:
You fear the things that you can’t see, the things that hide in the dark
You run from the truth that crouches in the shadows of your heart.
But the dawn of love shall break upon the pathways of your soul
And mend the broken pieces until once again you’re whole.
Included here are some samples of my work. The photos are mine except for the illustration for Little Duck which was done by Phyllis Saroff. Enjoy!