Author photo by artist, Walter Bakowski

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where words take us

(for Adam Ford and Dennis Wild)

I write poetry—

because it puts windows where there were walls

because today is a mountain

I’d like to reduce to a few stanzas

because now is the time to write it.

I write poetry, hoping to astound myself.

I write poetry because I enjoy

coaxing words

out of the corral of my ribs,

letting them graze

upon the blank page

under the shade of an adverb.

I try to write poetry clearly, use words sparingly,

each word, a small cog or spring needed

to make the poem tick.

Don’t want to fog or flood

any readers proceeding to the end of my poem,

where they may rest

in the quiet clearing

just beyond

the last full stop.


  1. I think that final metaphor is quite beautiful, "the quiet clearing / just beyond / the last full stop." I wonder how many of us have sat down and tried to articulate why we do what we do? Very good poem overall.

  2. I really enjoyed your poem. Heard you read in Wollongong years ago and poems from your book 'In the human night'are often shared with my students.

  3. It's the imagery that touches me - the bus that falls to its knees; a [somehow correctly pink] corral of ribs; that shade beneath an adverb. There's something about birds melding with waves too in your latest collection. Imagery conjured up and pushed into my imagination by your arrangements of words, so the feeling that I also get, beyond that last full stop, is freedom. Freedom that proves my imagination lives on.... Not so much the telling but, the showing of the words.... That lets us oscillate alive between knowing and not-knowing; before and after knowing, place where that photo seems to have you above.