Monday, August 4, 2014

When I Wrote My First Poem
                                               (September 2013)
I probably didn’t write it
I probably sang it as I skipped to the creek
As I jumped from rock to rock
As I returned home up the hill shaded by buckeye trees
And smelling of wild roses
Or maybe it was when I climbed from tier to tier
In our old tobacco barn
Playing pretend games
And finding something new and exciting
In every spider webby corner
Every slant of sunlight dancing with dust motes
I still write poems like this
Not writing them, I mean
I sing them
Sometimes rhyming
Sometimes loose and free and flowing
More like the creek in our valley
Than the woodpeckers’ steady rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat
On the hollow beech
And I sing in the car and in my kitchen
And in the garden when I’m picking green beans
Trouble is, I rarely remember these poems, these songs
For longer than a minute
And I lament that I don’t carry pad and pen in my pocket
Or recorder in my car
How many profundities have found no ears
But mine to inspire?
How many beautiful noticings have blessed my heart alone?
I regret for a moment or two my lack of memory
But then I forget what I’m regretting
As a swallowtail butterfly catches my eye and carries it
Far beyond my soul searching exercise
Or my old cat begs to have his ears scratched
And can anyone give full attention to a purring cat
Without losing track of most everything else?
And maybe it’s okay that I don’t remember
That first poem I wrote
Or the one I sang this morning as I lay in the early morning stillness
And listened to my husband’s soft breathing
Maybe what I get from it is enough—I am being
Myself, in the moment, spontaneous
I am (as Mary Oliver put it
In her poem she remembered to write down)
“Married to amazement”
And what a fine state of marital bliss it is!                 

Glenda for the Poplar Grove Muse


  1. Your poems are in the ether. And the Universe is a better place for that. Thank you.

  2. I love your forgetting to write down your beautiful noticings, your forgetting what you're regretting, "Mary Oliver... in her poem she remembered to write down." You are a poet among poets, utterly yourself, alive, unique. Thank you so much for sharing this! MKP