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Ill-tempered season

pained and walleyed,

drenched and dry,

frozen, fierce-to-mild and back again—

this is spring.

 

A birthing.

 

An ending.

 

Put pen in hand:

let the death

and the life of April

rage on, my dearest poet.

 

 


This is one of the pair that inspired “Monday Morning”, written last summer. The Kite has returned, along with her oddly feathered children. I can only wonder over the Falcon’s whereabouts. He is missed.

 

Robert Frost’s poems often include tools. I suppose he was a man who believed men were defined by their work and took pride in his as well as of his father’s, and so on. I’ll admit to not being a student of Frost’s, but the tools are a bit obvious, and he wields them with a certain loveliness that can be appreciated.

Poets can be depended upon to have a thing. Or, a central theme to their larger body of work if you prefer a more literary explanation of this point I’m getting around to. Whether or not the theme is premeditated or simply emerges probably depends upon the individual writer.

Regional landscapes, religion, sex, love, mythology, environmental rape, social discord, war, motherhood, traffic jams, cats… nothing is off limits. Poetry can translate the most mundane day-by-day schlock, or even the ugliest horrors, into tremendous, emotionally evocative lines.

Of course every writer and reader of poetry knows this. Being a greedy reader, I knew this, and it was usually a fun process to read through a particular book a second time once the theme had become utterly clear and relatable.

However! Now that I’m earnestly working on completing a collection of poetry that will bear my name, my theme is emerging. With the grace of a 2×4 hurdling from the guts of an F-5 tornado toward unsuspecting victims.

No, I didn’t expect the first dozen or so poems completed for this collection to hold up to scrutiny like that endured by Mr. Frost’s poems, or any other incredible household-name-sort of writer. I just wanted them, in some small way, to reflect me. Truth be told, this work is reflecting an aspect of my personality that is utterly authentic… and ridiculously misanthropic.

Honestly, I didn’t realize this about myself until recently. And I certainly didn’t intend for it to burst out of my poetry in such an obvious way. After reading through these first dozen or so poems, I said “UGH!” and went about trying to force in some sunshine and brotherly love. That did not go well. Then I read through poems that I’ve posted here, and completed for class assignments. Wow. It was there all along and I never took notice.

I do not hate all humankind, not everyday at least. Promise. But on the days I do, I’m not very good at making it seem otherwise.

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