I used to write a lot of poetry when I was young. At first, because I thought I was supposed to in order to be a serious writer. And then because I actually was supposed to when I took a poetry class in college. And then because I could earn pennies per word on Themestream. Pennies, people (actually, at first it was dimes per comments, then Themestream realized that wasn’t sustainable because writers, being ruthless AND supportive like Vikings with evolved emotional intelligence, formed squads that would go on commenting parties for each other, so then it became pennies per comments. Themestream died shortly after).
I fell out of the habit a while ago. Not sure why. I guess because blogging – and, in particular, posting blogs on social media – seemed enough of an indulgence, and sharing poems might seem like another cry for attention.
Which is all true. But attention is fun, so I’m going to start posting poems again sometimes, just because. Normalize poetry is my new motto. Notice I’m not claiming good poetry or bad poetry, just poetry.
Because why not? Poetry is writing and writing is life.
While I will share some poems here on the blog, most will be limited to a separate page on my website, all for my own indulgence.
But here’s one I kinda like that I just wrote while we’re sequestered away from Sacramento smoke, a moment in time in Smith River:
Silence of the North Coast
Cloaked in fog and age, even redwoods can burn in their cathedrals
Be silent on the North Coast, whisper to redwood trees with fibrous and gnarled bark.
A chipmunk skittering tacktacktack along the hollow body of a fallen giant
The hiss of a broken wave receding through stones, sloshing, bursting through tide pools
The grumble of the ocean as a child trudges through sand and taunts the waves, shrieks,runs.
Be silent on the North Coast.
Even redwoods burn.