in my handwriting
you see an optimist’s slope–
the slanted lines
taking flight off the page
with a fluttering of wings
As spring winds into summer, I find myself being optimistic about many aspects of my life: consistent rain that has kept our well fat and happy; the parade of spring flowers I continue to watch open and close each day from my window; friends; family; my writing community; my writing life. In the past few weeks, I’ve had many opportunities to reflect on the good fortune that I enjoy thanks to the world that poetry has opened up to me. If you (or anyone) need a testimony about the value of writing (and reading) poetry, you only have to ask me.
During the past three years since I have turned my hand to the Japanese forms of haiku, tanka and haibun, I have met the most amazing people who, daily, touch me with their words, their wisdom and their acts of kindness and generosity. Through them, my world has, paradoxically, become both smaller and larger, and definitely richer. How otherwise, I wonder, might I be able to connect with creative spirits living outside my small neck of the woods? People who live in such far-flung places as New Zealand and Australia, Japan, India, and every corner of the United States and Europe.
red lights editor and tanka poet Marilyn Hazelton recently asked me how writing tanka has impacted my life. It’s difficult to answer that question fully, except to say “in every way.” And, for that, I am exceedingly grateful.