Poemwalk

When people ask,
Where do the poems come from?
or
How do you write a poem every day?

I say,
First, I have no idea,
and second,
If I knew, I think they might not
show up
.

But if I lace up my shoes,
head out onto the block
I think of as mine, and start
to move, if I get out of my own
way, walking at a good clip,
bright kites of words float by—

sometimes disguised as leafbuds
on bare branches or paperwhite
blossoms, a wagging tail or
the smile of a toddler gleefully
pedaling his trike.

Just a phrase, maybe a line or two,
compels me to reach for the strings
attached to those precious syllables
and, thanking them for scudding by,
tuck them into pockets of my
receding memory.

Then the trick is to gently grip
the slender threads long enough
to walk home and pull out
what I’ve gathered—

found marbles, smooth pebbles,
colorful streamers and whatnot—

tenderly setting them on the page
so they might find their feet,
dance a little, and begin to make
a poem.

Paperwhite narcissus / Photo: Jan Haag)

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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