Poetry in Motion

July 28, 2022

Don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for the Webb telescope all my life. And the photos did not disappoint. After all, it’s not every day you get a glimpse of the dawn of time! What was truly incredible was the explanation that the first pictures captured an area of the universe(s) so small that it was like a grain of sand held at arm’s length. Just wow.

So naturally I thought of the opening line of William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” (be honest, you did too): “To see a world in a grain of sand.” Lest you think I’m bragging, I don’t understand 99% of that, or any other, Blake poem, but I’m pretty good at recalling random verses of things.

While I have tried my hand at poetry at various times in my life (you know: puberty, the onset of mental illness, that stuff), I do not consider myself a gifted poet. My standout verses included the poem I wrote at age seven when JFK died (I’ll spare you the quoting), and the blistering parody of “O Captain My Captain” by Walt Whitman called “O Superjock My Superjock” that I wrote for my high school newspaper, and which immediately endeared me to football Coach Maloof (not).

I once read a LOT of poetry, and had my faves (Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Browning, Edna St. Vincent Millay). In recent years, what scant opportunities I’ve had to read something deep and reflective, I’ve devoted to prose. But Evan has rekindled my interest, and so has Pat, my friend and yoga teacher. Ev writes terrific poetry, and is a connoisseur of great writing. Pat has assigned me the task of coming up with a weekly reading for the end of class (so I usually choose a poem).

Guess what? There’s some seriously awesome stuff being written these days. I used to thumb my nose at “free verse,” thinking the writer wasn’t clever enough to tackle villanelles or sonnets. But I really enjoy more unstructured poetry now, and wonder if perhaps as I age I’m becoming a little less structured myself (nah).

I love the “distilled” quality of a good poem: what would take me paragraphs, if not volumes, to say, is perfectly expressed in a few lines. It’s daunting, though, because with my blog, for example, I always feel I can meander my verbal way to my point within my prescribed 500 words, whereas haiku takes no prisoners.

This is the summer of New Beginnings for me, and I’d really love to plunge back into the world of meter and rhyme. I’ve heard that poets make serious bank! (perhaps I’ve been misinformed?) Even if there’s no money in it, I’m going to give it a whirl and see where the syllables land.

And who knows? Some distant day I might be quoted too, and thus achieve literary immortality, just like my good buddy Blake.

“It was a dark and stormy night/I very nearly died of fright.”

Maybe it needs work?


    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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