I recently unearthed, from the deep litter of several years of paper, a folder of poetry that I wrote between 1994 and 2001 when writing poems was one of the few ways I could make sense of life. I have always written not only for personal pleasure but from a desire to connect with other people. So many poets and authors have helped me to feel less alone that I have long kept in mind the conceit that what I write might help someone else to feel less alone. So I’m letting a few of these poems see the light of day again like messages in a bottle brought in on a fifteen-year-long tide.
I didn't sleep at all And dawn discovered me Watching a projection of myself Packing up this little room With sighs Books into boxes Clothing to be given away Getting back to the core of me Papers of unfinished scores Waiting still Surely goodness Will follow me where I am going In the way it always has before now And mercy I will get as much As I need When was I last So true to myself as to drop The trappings of expectation And rewrite the script By inspiration And now I write Like I have not written for years Stumbling back to an old haunt With another notch On the staff A little more Wisdom in the eyes Makes the old land look changed The hair a little longer Feels the breeze I will return To conquer the past I will pack a few possessions And leave the rest behind For a while (July 2001)
I did, in fact, return – seven months later – with a few more notches on the staff and a little more wisdom in the eyes, and the place looked different; but I still have a few unfinished (musical) scores and balancing inspiration with expectation is an everyday battle.