Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The way to be a poet is to write (a series)

When I don't know what to write, I peek inside old journals, look for the scattered half-ideas, for the poems left unfinished. I found one in the journal from Italy, where one year ago I discovered how our hearts sing. In Italy I promised, one year ago, that I would keep poetry alive in my heart. I promised I would read it. I promised I would write it - on napkins and in the corners of notebooks and about the small things that almost nobody notices.

And so here I am, surrounded by my scribbles. The only way to be a poet is to write poetry. The only way to discover what's inside my heart is to ask out loud.

I promise to write the contours of my second beating heart. This is the beginning.

the metronome of rain

tonight, the clouds practice percussion
on car windows, spotted umbrellas
the shined shoes waiting on the platform.

tonight, the trees crack and shudder
under the insistence of the wind,
the headlights flare in six-eight time.

tonight we will hear of flash floods
burying towns, of shattered windows
and bicycles snatched by the crescendo.

but you?

tonight, you tiptoe, mud-rimmed khakis
and hair dripping, across the sidewalk.
you scuff the pavement,
scatter the puddles.

are you going home?



  1. Hilary, I love this...I think you are a natural and I love how you bring it home, so like He who walked and saw the people:} I'm scattered these days but hope to check into this series again!

  2. oh, how i love this!!! i have so many scraps of paper, snippets here and there. . . and so often those turn into my favorite pieces. it is so much about not ignoring the moment, is it not? i have to remain intentional about that, and you have re-inspired me :-) thank you for sharing this. oh, how i love poetry.


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