how she loves

love heart flowers spring

As the mirror loves
The face reflected –

As the water loves
The sun that warms it –

As the lake loves
The night that chills it –

As the air loves
The lungs that breathe it –

As the peach loves
The mouth that tastes it –

As the word loves
The pen that writes it –

As the poem loves the poet
That hears it speak –

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

the old bones of the past

autumn autumn leaves blur close up

~of Michael

We talk over the old bones of the past,
The way people sitting beside a campfire
Take a stick and poke the dying embers of flame
Licking the last log-remnants
Burning in the night air of endings.

We sigh over how it makes sense now
The scenarios once locking us all in blindness
Show themselves clear and sparkling
As light dancing on water
Their jagged-edged episodes
Blistering clear in the light of passed time.

It is how a mother and daughter pick through the past
Of a husband, father, grandfather – his absence
Like a leaf we hand back and forth
Turning it over and over again
Examining its veins and edges and discolorations —

As if this examining will somehow tell us
What made it turn loose and drop from the tree.

 

~Photo by Valiphotos on Pexels.com

 

 

 

the God of your Soul-Self

books on the table

Walking toward Photography in search of
a How To book that isn’t there — I turn
toward the whispering shelves of poetry–
Hafiz, Billy Collins, Rilke, Rumi, a chorus
calling me to take them home. I do.

A million sparkling lights of hope and
friendship — voices, voices, voices calling
out a hum of knowing, living, being. Yes!
This chorus of light vibration wisdom is
the Holy Ground of libraries and bookstores.

I often tried to explain to friends:
On bad days or during times of sorrow,
I walk into a bookstore and ask God —
Help, give me the words I need to hear.
And He does. And they laugh, Yeah – Right!

And I further tried to explain the science,
the physics of vibration, energy, contraction
Einstein’s universal laws lived out in reality —
but they couldn’t understand my language.
I explored the topic in deep sharing:

Everything is energy and movement — atomic.
Voices in books are the writers Being with
me in conversation, friendship, vision.
The books are just un-bodied people I know.
But, my friends laughed — Yeah, okay! And,

I stopped trying to explain with explaining.
The God of your Soul-Self will come to you
in the way you can know Him, love Him.
He will meet you in the Space between
longing and faith and call you Home.

Each thing carries Him inside it.
Each breath a confirmation.
Each need an answer to Union.
Each cry a step closer to Wholeness.
One — into many — into One.

The spectrum has many colors
but there is only one Light.

 

 

~Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Adventure Days

scenic view of mountains during dawn

 

 

“Awake, Oh Sleeper,
and arise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”
~Ephesians 5:14

 

 

 

 

We fall into the place of forgetting
how precious the living is, the deep joy
of ocean breeze across heated skin,
the sound of a bird chirping, singing
gratitude for Grace and sunlight, life
a precious flowing river ever changing

us. Most people, falling into dark sleeping
memories that plague our hearts losses
with all that was, is gone, the past “we”
no longer the “we” of now. These quiet hours
alone in desperation, crying to our Maker
until Mercy pours light and hope and love

down from the heavens. Then, a friend comes
and brings new Adventure Days of hope,
bright laughter, we are playing at life again
like a young child unaware of time, moving
into a new us, a new future, a new phase
of living, growing, becoming whole – Reborn.

These are the gifts we give from deep heart places
where God shines treasure and hope and love
outward, from within us, until everywhere we look
there is gleaming joy and the birds are singing —
Awake, Oh Sleeper, Awake! Rejoice and Live!

 

 

~Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

the heated promise of a new day

flight landscape nature sky

Sunset comes in the bright fire
of disappearing earth and atmosphere
meeting like lovers
like hushed voices
and loud laughter
fall, roll, tumble
in lovemaking and tenderness
cream skin caress
hot frantic need to
touch everything within you
heart, soul, mind, spirit, knowing
Being Love
consumed in fire
the cool darkness holding
the heated promise of a new day
and an I love you vaster than time.

Meet me at sunset, my sweet Beloved,
at the portal of life becoming Divine.

 

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Google Photos Reminds Me in Backup

summer-reflection-timothy-easton

~of Joey

 

Four years ago you were sitting
in a white Porsche Boxster with me
taking pictures, recording videos
of the handsome boy who stole my heart.

Three years ago I was driving
an Audi convertible around and wondering
what bar you were getting drunk in, with whom,
taking selfies for Facebook in a smile masking truth.

Two years ago you were gone
back to the ground that grew you
and I was 30 pounds lighter and looked old
and anorexic in the photo I sent to my daughter.

One year ago the newest girlfriend
found me on Facebook, called and messaged,
sent videos of the drama and pain and I knew
that my grieving was easing under the light of truth.

Today, I woke up dreaming of the warm loving arms
of a man whose heart is Sacred and Holy
and I decided after coffee and writing poems,
it was time to erase your pictures from my phone.

Pain of War & Living

flight sky sunset men

~VA Hospital, October 2019 (Thank you for your service)

 

These halls, these chairs, these walls
encasing whispered moans
and memories of wars
and those gone soldiers
that never made it home
to America, to sit here, to wait
on the doctor to see them
at the VA Hospital in Charleston.

I sit feeling, hearing the tones
of pain play like the keys
of a piano, dark and light —
Some pain a deep recessed dark.
Some pain a bright hard gash
of bright light open wound oozing
under the cover of wrinkled flesh
pale aged splotched skin
that holds the soldier of twenty
wrapped deep beneath the disguise
of age and time.

The waiting room of marbled browns
deep wood tone trim and calm colors
built to settle the mind and remove
the pain of war and living.

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

A New Song

bare trees against sky during sunset

~for Mickey 12/2019

 

The old man tells me of his friend (and I am his friend)
as we drive home from dinner.  He falls to weeping
over the buddy he sang with in the church quartet
all those many years ago.

His friend died young, aged 48, and he stopped
singing then (at 72 he sings to me as we drive).
The pain of sad loss trembles from him, the words
and images fall into my lap for safe keeping — this
is a heart opening into hearing as I whisper the normal
“I’m sorry” and “I know it still hurts” because that is what
one does —

But I want say — “I am listening” and “I will put this
in a poem” Your heart — THIS big with love —
“I will save it forever for you in a poem.” But
I only whisper the normal solaces one gives,
watch his tears fall and listen as he shivers —
His frail voice singing a song about a Lighthouse
as I take his aged hand in mine
across the center console of the car.

There —
In the night drive home after dinner
in the shimmer and melody on air
and the spring of tears trembling down —

The ghost of his friend rides with us
on through the dark night
as hands both living and dead
reach out and touch —

And a poem is planted, unfurls —
Grows into a new song.

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

teach me of swimming

Swimming

How much does water weigh —
how does the heaviness taste
against your skin?

Tell me of floating
and what that bed touches
in the back that rests there.

How do the waves speak
as they wash your face
and roll into your mouth?

Do you hear mermaids or nothingness
as water slides above your brow
slips into your inner ear?

Do your hands feel tenderness
or anger boiling strumming
through the rushing water?

What do fish see?
What song do seashells sing?
Does the water know the difference
between the moon and the sun?

 

~Photo Credit: (c)2019 Marissa Mullins

 

seeing another seeker with empty hands

brown sand

8~24~2019

 

Memory: Bright-eyed boy telling me about Shark’s teeth —
I was above and beyond the mire of irrationality
then — as Seger says      Deadlines & Commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out.

Reality: There are dozens of us     hundreds
walking the shoreline of Myrtle
each day —

You will know us by our eyes
cast down, scanning the sand
looking for Grace reflected
in an ebony shine.

We are a greedy and gracious lot
depending on our need in that hour.
Sometimes hoarding
because we need every syllable God whispers.
Sometimes generous
seeing another seeker with empty hands –
we smile and pass a treasure off –
Here, these are for you.
Handing the letters of God to others
because we are all seeking
words to ease the suffering
of all the questions
that convince us
there is any other answer
but ourselves

believing
there is an answer
floating somewhere
in the sand
to who we are –
why we love –
how we are here.

 

 

~Photo by Miri on Pexels.com

 

Chance

adorable black and white blur boy

In Egypt there are camels feeding.
In Tahiti there are frogs jumping.
They may not meet
In this lifetime
On this journey.

In Kansas there is a wheat field dancing.
In England there is a muddy river flowing.
They may not meet
In this lifetime
On this journey.

In Space there is a boy working and laughing.
In Time there is a girl writing and smiling.
They may not meet
In this lifetime
On this journey.

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

we love by degrees

woman with red hair and blue eyes

~August 2019

 

We love by degrees
of shadow and light.

The old man
tells a fishing story
his eyes filling up
with sea mist.

The young man
touts the size of his dick,
the number of conquests
his eyes glittering triumph.

The old woman
remembers her wedding
his eyes warm with love
the children she grew
and gave wings.

The young girl
rushes to get ready
for a first date lost
in fantasy and breathless
heartbeat
eyes gleaming with
anticipation.

We love by degrees
of shadow and light.

Like the pupil in our eyes
expansion    contraction
measured entry
as the world spins
onward in time
our hearts of stone
holding fires

that we water out
or add wood to
depending on the day.

 

~Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

 

but poets know

person wearing guys fawkes mask watching flame

~June 2019

There is a reason the snake bite
must be cut and bled,
a mouth needed to suck the poison
out, spit it away into nothingness.

I have heard it said of the great writer
that he is madness, an evil man with
evil stories.    But, no —
he writes to remove the poison images
and this is how he stays sane.

Jung’s dark Shadow theory —
what the mind hides inside it —
It becomes. The writer
realizes the freedom of releasing
the shadows so he can move on.

Every writer knows this truth,
but poets know the poison intimately.

 

 

~Photo by Ashutosh Sonwani on Pexels.com

 

from the shadow blooms

Rose darkbrush

Her fear enters the door ahead of her.
The fragile-silk side-step fear of trespass
that tells you she knows too many dark
hours — that she is a flower from the shadow
blooms beneath branches blocking

sunlight. Moves and changes come
with strong winds, tussled leaves
and limbs spinning the orbiting petals
upward  — into this fragile day of sun
that she both worships and fears.

The sun is a powerful god she loves, but
the trepidation and fear of transgression,
suspicion, uncertainty — the suspect knowing
of humble plant to mystic star, child to Lion,
needful flower to the light which sustains it.

These fears sit down as a group on the ground
around her roots, crawl up to perch on nearby
leaves and wait and watch and then — Wisdom
cradling Mercy in her breast, breathes healing
and the fears recede for now into the shadows.

 

~Photo Credit: Shadow Bloom, (c)2020 Marissa Mullins

 

 

stretched thin with yearning

Grass Artful

That desert sea of sand
holds the roots in mystery
as the reaching toward heaven
begins —

hot rolling hours change the day
moving into hours of darkness and chill
wind blows in, howling, from the ocean cold.
Here —

Life digs in deeper, then
reaches higher, higher, higher — outstretched
and stretched thin with yearning
it grows

toward a bright light other unknown
calling its core seed to sprout, reach
strive for the impossible unattainable
until

the shadow essence grows shorter, smaller
and as true darkness sets in — disappears
into the space of night — the labor of life
resting

knowing that tomorrow light will come,
call out again for new strength of purpose,
demand heaven-high climbing life focus
to rise.

~Photo Credit: (c)2020 Marissa Mullins 

all the jewels

It was his birthstone – and a color
he often wore. But,
all those years together
it was a stone in my hand,
a jagged crystal tower
on my desk.

When we ended — all the jewels
fell to the ground like stars
dropping from the night sky.
Since then
I have stayed away from
the power of purple and gray.

You can’t know these things
as you hand me a heart
stone of purple amethyst,
that fills my palm with cool
smooth weight —

The past never ends, it is
recycled and reshaped
into the Now —
that bouncing between
the three realms of
past, present, future
eventually ends:

Three becomes One.
The Trinity of Time
flows in One stream
knowing
the eternal
is all-encompassing.
This never ending
circular flow —

The heart I lost in blood and flesh
given back to me in polished stone.

So, we agreed

bright bubble color flatlay

I sit by the small pineapple fountain
because
I always say, I like this space —
but the larger fountain, more often
calls to me, and I sit there — writing.

When God and I were discussing
where to go and how to Live Today,
I mentioned this pandemic —

“I do not know how much longer
You will grant me breath?”
(He remained silent on this topic.)

So, we agreed —
Today is the perfect day
to sit by the pineapple fountain.
Together —

Sharing sunbeams, a mild breeze,
the tender melody of dripping water
and this Great Love we share
for the beauty and complexity
named Living.

 

~April 6, 2020 at Market Common Fountains

~Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Pexels.com

You take my hand

silhouette of newly wedded couple

You take my hand and we go out
into the world.
You are my dearest playmate, companion.

Sometimes,
the Mind says to me
“Are you crazy?”

“Who are you to speak of God this way?”

But, I am learning
to listen only to Your laughter,
to relax into the giggles we share,
to take Your hand in mine,
to trust You —

And then,
I smile at my Mind, all his babbling,
like a jealous, drunk friend!
Because
the Heart sees differently —

And I know that this romping about,
playing with mischief, roaring in laughter and joy,
through these life-days of shimmer and shine
with You
is the only reason I came.

 

~Photo by Thái Huỳnh on Pexels.com

the love that is Home

Gateway

It is as if
Somehow — Someone
opened the gate and let me back in
to the Garden of Eden —

while the world still sees me
and keeps calling, calling
to come back out and play.

I can’t find words
that work to explain
I am happier here
than ever, anywhere —

How does one explain
the love that is Home?

 

~Photo Credit: Gateway; (c)2019 Marissa Mullins

Sparrow

brown small beak bird

He came to land
so gingerly and brave
on the chair-back
beside me (reading Rumi) —
at a table near the fountain.

Then,
hopping down and around
the edge of the table,
a hand-length
beside me
as if
he knew there was
an uneaten cookie
inside my book-bag  —
and asking
so sweetly and gently —

What could I do?
But
reach into the bag,
pull the cookie out, and
crumble it across the table
as a sacred offering
for this invitation
to love.

 

~March 2020, Market Common, Myrtle Beach, SC

~Photo Credit: Flickr on Pexels.com

day of miracles 3/20/20

Beach3620

The sandy beach gave me heart tokens
in stone and shell.

The sea gulls paraded their young before me
training flight as I gazed on the becoming.

The ocean washed sand away to show me
a giant shark tooth for my hand.

There was love and light and poetry flowing,
new books of beautiful verse for my heart,
a picnic lunch with my lover in the park.

There was a painted rock
in a flower pot with a painted heart and my
initial that was waiting for me to walk by.

There was a brave bird that introduced himself
and asked to share my cookie, and at my acquiescence,
he and his friends sang me love songs while they ate.

There was water rushing in the fountain
and a pen filling notebooks with poems.
There was sunshine and shade and shadow —

A breeze carrying the scent of blossoms my way
and a bench held me lovingly in sacred space.

There was love and life and flowing in me, around me,
with me. Leaves fell as Shams sang and Rumi danced.

There was a day of miracles … what more could I want?

 

 

~Photo Credit: Blue Ocean, Myrtle Beach State Park; (c)2019 Marissa Mullins 

you were always becoming poems

time lapse photography of flame

~For Joey, April 2019

 

Oh, that sparkle of mischief
and laughter and child
that jumped out of your eyes
and decked me,
knocking the breath from me
as I sat across the room!

Boy that I loved
with deep heat longing,
held close to my breast, a child-man
I could not help heal save reach trust.

“Beautiful”
and you were the most beautiful boy
on earth to me —

your eyes your lips your face your hair
your heart
your hands your chest your belly your legs
your manhood
your fight your laughter your demons your smile
your soul

“Beautiful Destruction”
running through my heart – life – soul.

“I ruined you,”
you used to say.

“No, Beautiful,”
you were the match I used for flame.

To love beyond all aspects of self
brings the burning of purification.

You were always becoming poems
in the Seeing Eyes of a Poet.

“I ruined you.”

“No, Beautiful.”
You were my chosen suicide.

 

 

~Photo by Igor Haritanovich on Pexels.com

 

Drops

DSC_0565

~September 2019

 

Your voice drops
into my tired tattered soul
like the soft drizzle of Autumn rain
drops across the withering leaves
in a dry dying orchard after harvest.

Your voice drops
into my shaky shattered spirit
like the wash of deep hard rain
drops across fire-cracked earth
filling the deep-graven lines of desert.

Your voice drops
into my fragile frail heart
like the splashing plops of Spring rain
drops across fresh-born flower petals
newly breathing in the bright light of a garden.

 

~Photography Marissa Mullins (c)2019

A Stranger Who Is a Friend: Seeking the Beloved

Glass3

“What you seek is seeking you.”  ~Rumi

 

A stranger who is a friend I’m just now meeting brings me a gift. He reaches in his pocket – reaches his hand out to me – places a piece of the living world in my hand. It is warm from being in his pocket, from the heat of his energy. It fits my hand perfectly as I stare at it and then into it and through it.

An opaque beauty of swirling movement and lines flows into my vision. The warmth of endowed energy moves into me along with the images: first, an eye looks back at me: then, an outline of a bird: then, a volcanic landmass: then, a riverbed that explodes into the Universe twirling. And, finally, in it’s deepest secret revealing, what does this gifted treasure show me? Love.

This love so bright my heart beats deeper and my lips form smiles. Laughter breaks free and moves out my mouth. This love is the same voice of love in my ear all week saying that my favorite Shiva Lingham stone is to be gifted to this person when we meet. I explain this to the stranger who is a friend as he sits down on my couch.  I do not explain that I have spent a week chanting and praising and holding this stone in my hand so it would hold deep the energy of love for him when gifted.  I take the stone from it’s sacred space on my table  and I reach out my hand to his and give him this gift. Love.

The Universe as space and sky unfolds it’s magic and pours it’s love on the ground below. Metaphorically, this love is the ground where strangers become friends in the unlikeliest of ways. It is the ground that grows our greatest human possibilities and capabilities, the ground that fosters the seeds of compassion and giving in such a way that others and the world are made better by this garden. Human vulnerability and honesty are the water feeding thirsty plants so they may unfold, bloom, and burst wide into bright-colored, rich-scented flowers.

This garden crop at harvest is one of peace, generosity, encouragement, and friendship in sublimely spiritual ways. We grow and flower under the tutelage of love. She is our teacher and the deepest vast river and earth of our being.

We are magically superhuman (pure Spirit, even!) when we love ourselves and others with this Divine Love of non-judgement and non-condtioning. But this love requires two deep human offerings for maturation: we must sacrifice falsehood and safety. The irony — that in sharing our true vulnerability with others and maintaining a deep core commitment to honesty with ourselves and with others we move past the confines of self and into the joy of love that is the Divine.

The dichotomies and duality of good and bad, perfect and imperfect, enough and not enough seem to lose their strangulation hold over us; suddenly we breathe a little deeper, there is room for movement and flexibility, the control that once made us feel safe seems a lie and a bad joke somehow. We are beginning to understand the meaning of freedom. And this movement from captivity into freedom begins with a simple question: What are you seeking?

Or, translate the question into it’s deeper variations: What are you looking for? when you look at yourself, others, the Universe, the Divine. Whatever you are seeking is also seeking you? You will see what you expect to see. You will find what you think is there. What do your beliefs tell you? And how many of those beliefs still work for you? Do they bring you fear or pain, or do they take you to a place where love, joy, freedom are the common experience?

Take a slight pause to consider the questions…a minor shift in focus, one small off-step in perceptive point of view … are you seeking a stranger that is a friend? Are you open to finding the Beloved in the faces and animals and the world around you? Is a stone a stone — or can you open your eyes a little wider, look a little deeper — to the life and flow and love that hides within it? If you can pause and consider the questions a new expansion of your being will come. Suddenly, the journey opens wide a path in front of you and what you have been seeking meets you in the garden of life.

 

Glass1

Standing is the Hardest Thing

 

woman inside dark room

~for Joey, August 2019

 

You will run from me — and you,
and I will let you.
I will run from you — and me,
and you will let me.
Standing is the hardest thing.

The toddler learning to walk
is his best in forward, lurching movement.
Some children crawl backwards — first.
The fear in front worse than that behind.
Standing is the hardest thing.

There is a reason men crawl
from the battlefield of bloody excursions,
with wounds and exhaustion,
the out-flowing of life so painfully deep.
Standing is the hardest thing.

It is easy to cease suffering, say the Buddhists:
Die to every truth you ever believed, fall into empty.
Let go every need and want until you disappear —
Free. Falling into a place of no ground.
Standing is the hardest thing.

 

 

Photo by Bianca Salgado on Pexels.com

do you See?

 

All that God wants

is to be Seen —

 

Like that distant adoring Lover

seeks a glance from the adored Beloved.

 

Look! Here I Am in a bluebird sitting on a branch!

Look! Here I Am in the ocean wave roaring in your ear!

Look! Here I Am in the sand caressing your feet!

Look! Here I Am in the sweet-voiced song of a friend!

Do you See me? All around you in this Living

my Joy and Love for you pours forth —

 

You are Dreaming — Condemnation is a child’s nightmare.

Wake Up!   Look!   Do you See me …

your Beloved always trying to get your Attention.

Do you See?

Siva Refrain

 

Siva calls —

speaks the Fire of Loving Destruction.

The Phoenix becomes flame.

 

Siva calls —

His voice hollowing out the I of I.

The Phoenix becomes ash.

 

Siva calls —

There is nothing but the Nothingness of Siva.

The Phoenix becomes emptiness.

 

Siva calls —

It is time to dance the living.

The Phoenix becomes song.

 

Siva calls —

Siva answers.

 

Please, Hurry!

I asked Shiva and Christ

to have a chat with you —

that if Their Will is This —

they need to be quite clear with You

about It!

 

I Know You breathe Them.

Their voices whispering

cyclonic Peace, twirling winds

across your Soulscape. I will wait.

 

The god’s have Their own Timing.

But, so You Know, I giggled with Joy

when I asked Them to Speak with You!

Only Wanting what is Destined for me —

 

Asking They send you to me Soon!

I Am laughing in Joy at my own Request,

In This vast open non-time Ocean of Love —

Still, Something inside me begs —

Please, Hurry!

Interview: 7 Questions with Poet Robert Tustin

DSC_0838 (1)

Poet Robert Tustin reads at Barnes & Noble Open Mic Night in Myrtle Beach, SC. October 2019

 

I meet poet Robert Tustin in the coffee shop at Barnes & Noble as agreed. I am early. He is earlier. He is waiting for me at a side table with several poetry books and a yellow notepad with a list of poetic influences written in neat, concise print.  We are friends immediately, talking as if we’ve known each other for years —  an easy sing-song conversation about our shared love of words, lines, and stanzas.

Robert speaks in soft, quiet tones with an open and deliberate demeanor. He is invitingly eager to discuss his passion for poetry and his earnest desire to see poetry become a “connective” experience; one which brings the people of his community into a deeper conversation with themselves and helps them to create a stronger connection with others in the world.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Can you give the readers some information on your background and explain how you came to write poetry?

I was born in College Point, Queens, New York to a working class mother and father, a Catholic and an Episcopalian respectively — parents who saw fit to send me and my two brothers to a private evangelical Lutheran school up until eight grade. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! We come by our eccentricities, as they are, quite honestly. Following that, I attended the local public high school in Flushing. It was a rude awakening and I was a quiet, awkward, and shy C student.

Everything changed when I was a Junior in high school and took Mrs. Aronaeur’s English class. She was a very patient, enthusiastic, and caring instructor. I was introduced to Shakespeare, and Macbeth in particular. I was hooked and my C’s became A’s seemingly overnight. By and large it was Shakespeare and his poetic use of language in his plays that brought me to write my first poems at the age of sixteen.

What three poets do you consider most influential to your growth as a poet?

Obviously Shakespeare was my earliest poetic influence in my late teens. In my early twenties I experienced my first breakup with a girlfriend. Almost immediately after that I borrowed (stole may be a better word for it), Bukowski’s book, Love Is A Dog From Hell, from my older brother, John. It ushered in my second phase of poetry, which sought to use free verse to subvert romance. The influence of Shakespeare was still there but to it I added a more contemporary voice.

For the third influence I went back a bit to William Carlos Williams and his little polished gems. In my thirties my poetry took on the quality of a passive observer recording seemingly mundane experiences and through language transforming them into something, at least for me in writing them, approaching the Divine. I sought to capture moments in time and by doing so, claim them and whatever wisdom the held as my own.

What other disciplines, beside literature, or areas of interest inform your writing?

I have always been a student of history and mythology.  Classical and Medieval history along with Greek and Norse mythology frequently find their way into my poetry. Art, particularly sculpture, is also an area of interest that informs my poetry. I always try to convey history and mythology through a very contemporary lens to show that times may change but people, by and large, remain the same. People like to think, even in their lifetime, that the kids coming up are somehow different, less civil, more this, less that … The ancient Greek had the same sentiment three thousand years ago.

At what age, during what period of your life, did you first know you wanted to  be a poet?

I knew I wanted to be a poet when I was sixteen. At first my poems, like many young aspiring poets, resembled song lyrics. As I progressed and the influences  began to truly impact me and inform my writing I dabbled in writing sonnets (a form I still love to write in) and, of course, free verse.

What are your thoughts on the current poetry scene and the utilization of poetry in our country?

Poetry on social media is encouraging more young people to put their poetry out there. I think this is a good thing. I see young teens devouring the latest books by R.L. Sin, Rupi Kaur, and Lang Leav. If this inspires them to go home and write poetry this is a good thing. I also hope this sparks in them an interest in and appreciation for the poets of the past.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? Is there an objective?

I think poets write with the expectation of someone else seeing their work, whether or not they actively seek formal publication. I believe, even in writing for ourselves, we are writing for an audience. I hope to always write to the best of my ability and to create art every single time I type words on a screen or put pen to paper. My objective is always to create a thing of beauty for the eyes and ears.

I wanted to do an Open Mic because I think people need to hear poetry read aloud and not just see it on their computer screen or on a page. Poetry should be a live experience. The process of writing it can often be a very lonely endeavor. Poetry is a living thing and needs to be given breath.

What does the term poetry “in everyday life” mean to you? 

I think most, if not all, poets are passive viewers of the goings on of their contemporaries. Watching a young girl sobbing on a rusty swing, a black and white terrier chase a yellow leaf swirling in the wind — There is poetry everywhere waiting to be captured by a poet’s imagination. The poet also has an inner landscape they often love to share. Poets are sometimes at their best when they look critically at their own inner workings.

We all share the same emotions as human beings. Read a poet like the Roman, Martial. Most of his epigrams seem like they could have been written yesterday. He was a Roman citizen writing very raw little epigrams about everyday life in Rome. His poems display humanity in all its beauty and ugliness too. His writing takes what might have seemed ugly at first and makes it something quite beautiful. Language has the power to do that. There is poetry absolutely everywhere for the poet willing to look.

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If you are in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, please come out and share your poetry or support local poets by listening to them read. Robert hosts the Poet-To-Poet Open Mic Poetry Experience the second Thursday of every month at 7 pm, at the Barnes & Noble in The Market Common. For further information, or if you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. Your feedback and participation are greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Want Explained

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Want Explained     ~for Rob

 

I do not want to be on a pedestal

to fall from

my feet slipping

into stepping on your heart.

 

I do not want to be a muse

adored and believed

to hold magic answers to questions

my answers

can never satisfy.

 

I do not want to be a fever

of passion that burns in you

the flame dying down, flickering out

as time — age passes

leaving only embers of a dying fire.

 

I do not want to be a need

only to fill you for a time

the stomach, once full,

unable to hold more

is satisfied and the plate pushed away.

 

I want to be a river

you fish in, wade in, wash in, travel down —

I would be water that carries you with it,

moving forward

toward a never-ending sea.