My ancestors were natural poets. When it came to describing their special relationship with the land through words born in their hearts and carried to the light by spirit, they had no equals anywhere else on this planet. “The sap coursing through the trees of the forest carry the memories of my ancestors,” so said Chief Seattle. Such words hold the power to push tears from my eyes.
It helps when one has a way with words. I have a memory from back in my rowdy days when I was told a creepy guy was bothering a female friend of mine. I went to my friend and asked if she wanted me to have a little ‘chat’ with the creep. “He won’t be intimidated by you,” she offered. “Then let these words be written on his tombstone: ‘He was not intimidated and here he lies’,” is what I said in response to her prophecy. Remember now, the part of me who spoke words like those was put to rest long, long ago (I’m almost 100% sure of it). The creep ended up leaving my friend alone without my intervention. All by himself, he came to his senses and let her be. LOL!
Recently at the Singing Pebble bookstore I spoke about what it was that created the poetry I write. I shared childhood memories and talked about my life, how I used to feel my heart was so weighted down with confusion and guilt and shame in myself for my failures, that I was dragging it behind me with large iron chains. My mind was always zigzagging like a rabbit trying desperately to escape the jaws of an attacking predator. There were days when I wondered if the trigger was at hand where I would be driven over the edge and into death by suicide. But I survived. I won out because I’m a fighter who never gives up.
The life of a poet is far different than what is the norm. At least, this is my belief.
It was poetic words, spoken and sung, which changed me from being a man with the mind of a ruthless desperado to being a kind man and loving father and grandfather. Poetry and spirituality chased alcohol from my life forever. Words, properly put together, can cure the mind of any pain placed there by anguish or any other assorted miseries of life. A caress of the hand, and words with the ability to caress the heart will reassure the dying and make them at peace and accepting of their impending death.
Read poetry, think poetry, write poetry and the blood of your heart will burn with desires never before contemplated by you. And you will become a stronger, better human being because of it.
Poetry says it all. The beauty of one’s heart can be captured by the poet like a photographer can capture the beauty of a landscape.