Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Morning Poetry

The Trouble with Poetry
The trouble with poetry, I realized
as I walked along a beach one night --
cold Florida sand under my bare feet,
a show of stars in the sky --

the trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry,
more guppies crowding the fish tank,
more baby rabbits
hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass.

And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,

and there is nothing left to do
but quietly close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks.
Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.

But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame
to appear at the tip of my pencil.

And along with that, the longing to steal,
to break into the poems of others
with a flashlight and a ski mask.

And what an unmerry band of thieves we are,
cut-purses, common shoplifters,
I thought to myself
as a cold wave swirled around my feet
and the lighthouse moved its megaphone over the sea,
which is an image I stole directly
from Lawrence Ferlinghetti --
to be perfectly honest for a moment --

the bicycling poet of San Francisco
whose little amusement park of a book
I carried in a side pocket of my uniform
up and down the treacherous halls of high school.

~ Billy Collins


Georgianna said...

Oh, so brilliant! Thank you for this, dear friend. Here's to the little flames at the tips of our pencils.

And Happy Belated Valentine's Day.

Sending love,


Suz said...

oh I can identify...
loved the flame at the end of his pencil!
He's one of the best..always a treat to read.

Lisa Gordon said...

I absolutely LOVE this one, Relyn!
Thank you!!!

Marilyn said...

Oh the images!
I can just picture it.
But sadly the closing of
the notebook hit a cord in
me, as I am thinking about
death this week as my aunt
ends her days very soon. So
the closing of the notebook just
said that we write the story of
our life, each of us in a different way and then a stop and close the book. What an image I now have running through my head.

alexa said...

I have never come across this before, and just love it :).

A Cuban In London said...

That was just beautiful. And it's also come at the right time, the sun is shining again after a heavy downpour.

Greetings from London.

Oldies, but Goodies