Saturday, October 20, 2012

Life's Tenuous Thread

I write poetry often now. It does not really make me any better at it - over lots and lots of time it might - but I write poetry because it takes less time than doing the refining work necessary for the stories I've finished. Big job that.

Poetry lets me convey a thought, express myself in smaller bits. Sometimes the process is to spit it out, then let it sit and simmer, stirring every once in a while until it gathers flavor and body and taste.

Is it soup yet?

Then at other times, it comes in painfully slow bursts, one fragile segment at a time. Poetry is so far the only thing I've published (as a contributor in a collection for a book, and as a few (5 - but who's counting) contest winners. I like it. I like writing it much more than I like reading it, so I totally understand when friends and family skip my poetry.

Poetry is one of those things that if you give a few minutes to it and it does not "say" something to you, you should go on. Very few are deep enough that you would miss the entirety of a world changing idea on the first pass. You'll know if it's a world changing idea. Something in it will speak to you. You will see yourself, or realize you've thought that exact same thing, or find that the way the poet said something made you see that thing in an entirely new way.

That's exciting.

We don't get to do that in school - find the poetry that speaks to you. And that is too bad. Just think - the one thing you've been unable to express, the feeling you've never been able to make live outside of you is likely sitting somewhere in the pages of a book nearby. Only we don't take the time to look, because we do not know what we are looking for.

This just kills me.

I feel like there is a treasure out there waiting to be found. I feel like if I just find it I will feel connected, loved, saddened by the human condition, and awed in the space and time of the universe. Sometimes I am depressed, convinced I'll never find it, then full of curiosity and looking like a hound for a bone.

But more often than not, I sit and let my mind wander, hopeful that the words will fall upon the page and express the one thing that changes the way someone looks at love, or connection, or sadness, or awe.

It's a thrill.


Jo Taylor


I've written a poem about Postcards of all things - sending it out to the world soon. We'll see what happens.