This may come as a surprise to those who haven’t yet read my book, only the more personal and incidental poetry I’ve shared here so far – but the majority of my serious poems are very specifically purposeful. Weirdly-so, for modern poetry, but I’ve found a great deal of older work with function in-mind, to be particularly inspiring. Idea-delivery is important stuff.
The other side of that, is that I have a few important themes that I’m very interested in, and I’m willing to go to any extreme of form required, in the hopes of perhaps finding a useful new way to get a helpful idea across.
Not just books, essays, stories and poems – I mean songs, comics, radio plays, card games – ANYTHING! ;o)
My primary theme is always compassion – but I come at it spiritually, psychologically, historically, politically and also in a classic general human empathy (“normal” poetry) way. Sometimes gentle, sometimes not. (Some necessary messages simply cannot be done justice, painlessly).
I hit a major breakthrough a few years ago, when I started to find ways to say, in poetic form, things that had before consumed essays (which, while great for clarity, are orders of magnitude harder to get anyone to read).
More recently, I’ve also been finding ways to work story-type themes into poems. Biographical sketches for friends, and some curious bits of my own tale too.
For those who had a weird go of childhood, it can sometimes be very hard to look past the pain and recover the sweet and mixed-up kid we were.
There were years of my later-life when I simply blanked all of it out, for blunt-instrument self-defence – but I have come to believe that those who cause us pain, do not have the right to also steal what was good about our childhoods from us, and so, have been slowly trying to recover that funny kid, using, above all other tools and disciplines, gratitude for others.
Which – I have to say – is why my primary theme is compassion – and I’ve never lost sight of that. Many kind people stepped-in and helped at some very important times in my life, when more expectable others weren’t there. Lacking any way to pay these small heroes back for their saving kindness, all I can do to properly honour them is to keep steadfastly recommending it to all – forever.
Kindness is the very best thing we do. And we always know we’re doing right, when we exert our energy and heart-force in that direction.
The other thing worth mentioning about this one is that kids really do soak stuff up, in ways that we don’t always pay attention to. Exposure to the experience of practical, raw-ingredients creation (NOT virtual, or dumbed-down modular fakes) can inspire growth of skill, determination and creative imagination out of all proportion to hours invested.
Oh yeah – and of course I must also say thanks to Jane, Loren, and Margo too. (For many fine hours-invested!) Sincerely hope this one brings a smile to you all – a giggle, if we’re both lucky.
Those hands-on moments still glow very beautifully for me – treasures!