I wrote two poems last night. Sometimes a piece comes almost perfectly formed and other times a piece will take ages to get it to the state I feel comfortable with review. After the fact, I think it was because I immersed myself in some of the best writing ever. In this case it was poems and songs, but I don’t think the medium matters. Read really good writing, listen to really good writing, visit art – that’s the key to pulling your own muse out from under the basement stairs.

I watched Tavis Smiley’s interview with Joni Mitchell on the PBS Roku channel. (Thank you inventors of the technologies that make “internet TV” possible!). Joni looked so amazingly cool still – she’s 71. After the interview I put on her music, cranked it up, and sang along for an hour or so. I can do that. “I am a woman of heart and mind with time on her hands, no child to raise.” Or is it, “Just another silly girl when loves makes a fool of me”? Probably both.

Here is one of the poems from last night. 

The Arts

I thought I was a play

the simple story of a life

wherein the actor

survives the shifts, the plots

in the scuffle for the front of the stage


but I wanted to be a picture

or at least as pretty as

perfect, finished,

coveted and worthy of the gape


I wanted to be a dance

leaping courageously at chance

emotive and animated,

envied in grace


I wanted to be a song

lingering melody of a lullaby

lyrical, sweet return of a moment

you didn’t know you still remembered


Last night

I dreamed I was a poem

strong meter in free verse

voice that stands and calls

the surprise of a rhyme

somewhere near the middle

images that seep into you

to rise again

long after you close the book