Lovers, forget your love
And list to the love of these
She a window flower
And he a winter breeze …
It is beautiful outside my window. The Queen of Winter is present – huge flakes of snow tumble across the sky, tree limbs are holding a treasure of white on their branches, and the ground is a carpet of crystal. It has been snowing since deep in the night – a five-inch layer that’s still growing.
This day and this snow are acceptable – reminding me of snow days as a child when it was a treat to miss school, snuggle under blankets, and drink hot cocoa.
I didn’t sleep well last night. Too many thoughts, voices, memories coiling through my mind. The replay of my yesterdays filled with happiness, sadness, confusion. It was a long night of restless searching in an unfortunate land.
It is a land I know, one that has been waiting for my arrival – a conversation with an old friend earlier in the week; yesterday spent in quiet review, pouring over old journal entries and falling, tangled in a mixture of heated emotions and dissonance of spirit.
I am always searching for answers in their various forms. A journalistic flaw, I suppose, always trying to answer the Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions of life. The Why always being the most dominant!
Lately, some long-held Why questions have grown into their answers. It is a deeply bewildering experience even though I’ve known the answers forever.
The power of words is stunning. and though the answer may be known, it holds a different power when it’s spoken aloud. That’s when it becomes real! It now lives ghost-like and shimmering in the light of day. It is a haunting presence that can never be unspoken out of being.
These are the dream-images of realization and epiphany where poems are born. They grow from that place of answers and play through my mind for hours, speaking loudest in the dark moments before sleep comes. Oh, such clear lines and perfect stanzas showing up when I am too tired to get out of bed and write them down!
I want to believe in the pictures I paint for myself: of people, life, feelings, and reality. As if, somehow, in the magic of believing it to be I can create it being. The falsity of this approach becomes clearer to me as I grow older. Most things cannot be dreamed and wished into a better truth – they exist in the reality that is them without magical influence playing a role in the game.
“What matter that the magic doesn’t work?” I have no perfect image of completion in my mind, only small perfect moments I would like to possess.
The truth of what things are and the lessons that stem from that probably have more value overall than the perfections I dream of engineering. Still, it may be that the poet must have an element of believing, a magical perspective that defies logic, in order to see the details that become poems.
Artistry is never about the normal, run-of-the-mill experience. It is always about experiencing that and then transcending it. It is the vision stemming from transformation that speaks to the poet and in the poem.