on poetry

January 9, 2022

“…it’s the nature of the work that a poem is getting at something mysterious, which no amount of staring at straight-on has ever solved, something like death or love or treachery or beauty. And we keep doing this corner-of-the-eye thing. I remember when we were in training to be night fliers in the Navy, I learned, very strangely, that the rods of the eye perceive things at night in the corner of the eye that we can’t see straight ahead. That’s not a bad metaphor for the vision of art. You don’t stare at the mystery, but you can see things out of the corner of your eye that you were supposed to see.”
William Meredith
(January 9, 1919 – May 30, 2007)

. . . . .

Wanderer’s Heart*

August 9, 2013

Kristin Smith - Wanderer's Heart
2013 Merit Award
By Kristin Smith, 11th grade

The swirl of golden leaves in the wind.
Temples old as time, carvings blurred with the years
mountains where none have gone before.
Journeys with no end, no beginning,
just the next bend in the road
the mystery of what lies ahead.
Desert caravans
flutes of silver and cedar,
drums of many tribes.
To belong not to one, but to many
welcome at the crossroads.
Lonely campfires beneath a thousand trees
pine, madrone, banyan and cypress
constellations change with the language,
sun is always the same.
No house for a home,
just the high peaks;
snow and rock and ice,
heathers or euphorbia:
some things stay the same.

*Copyright 2013 by Kristin Smith. Placard designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

The Beginning*

June 24, 2013

The Beginning by Deborah Lutz
2013 Merit Award
By Deborah Lutz

I try to imagine the first winds…
Did they begin with a great howl?
Or whisper, stirring first from flora and fauna
then feather, then further still
until they pushed the clouds from
one side of the world to the other?
And did the first sounds
crawl a chorus line of bugs,
warbling from the hollowed throats
of ancient aviators,
slipping from the insides of
bubble-breasted toads?
The same sounds I hear
while wandering by the lakeside
or writing, sketching at the pond’s embankment?
Where blades of grass are tiny swords
softer than metal
but louder than a thousand cymbals—
When wind blows through them;
they battle out a medley
to match the waters’ crooning.
And I wonder,
are we still wild and ageless?

*Copyright 2013 by Deborah Lutz. Placard design by Egress Studio.

What the poets say…

November 7, 2010

“Poetry is an expression, through human language restored to its essential rhythm, of the mysteriousness of existence.” Stephane Mallarmé

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