On Thursday, August 19, I will be reading and reflecting on my poetry at 10:30 am for the “Coffee with the Poets” group at City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC. The poet’s group is just one of several under the umbrella of the Netwest Mountain Writers, affiliated with the North Carolina Writers Network. (Check outwww.netwestwriters.blogspot.com.) We are convened by Kay Byer, a former NC Poet Laureate, who has graciously encouraged me to reflect on my thirty years of often hidden poetry writing. As I have been reflecting on this welcome task, two poems popped up that I thought I’d share with you. They both involve the quirky, unexpected way that poems elude our normal patterns of perception and expression. I thought you might enjoy them.
I Love That Poetry
Do you like poetry? I asked.
Oh yes, he said. Last year I went to see a poet
Maya Angelou and she was beautiful.
The curtain opened and the spotlight lit upon her hair,
not white, but lustrous gray.
She wore a long crushed velvet dress, much like a kaftan,
bell shaped sleeves descending to wide cuffs
embroidered with a band that looked like kinte cloth.
A long string of pearls draped down from her broad shoulders,
picking up the highlights in her hair.
She was surrounded by a bank of ferns that reached up to her waist
as she sat down among them.
The ferns were like extensions of the dress. They billowed like her hair.
Oh, it was gorgeous. I just love that poetry.
I’m glad you liked it, passed my lips. Perhaps you might cut off a little more
above my ears. I want to look my best tomorrow night.