You’re a Poet, and You Don’t Know It.

All day yesterday I was without a topic.  I tried all day, I swear, but nothing came to me.  That is, until right before bed when I saw a Facebook post from Amanda Gorman about World Poetry Day, and did a literal facepalm.

So, if you’re a constant reader, you know that I share poetry on this day with you.  In the past, it has been my own, but today I have something special.  Today I am redefining the word “poet,” and I am including everyone.

Since October, three folks have shown me something they have written that they asked me to take a look at and perhaps give some advice about.  For me, editing poetry is just as fun as writing it, so I of course said yes to these three.  What I discovered is that you can absolutely be a poet, and not know it. 

The first poem I would like to share can be found HERE at Pink Plastic House: A Tiny Journal.  It is by far one of my favorite mags, and when my friend Audrey asked me to take a look at her October-themed poem, I immediately thought of the journal’s Halloween poetry countdown as the perfect vehicle to get her work out there.  She sent me a rough draft, and I polished it up for her, and when she was pleased, I sent it off to the editor at PPH.  Audrey has written plenty for herself over the years, but this is the first piece she shared with the world.  I am hopeful that it gives her to drive to continue to pursue her creative talents. 

Next up is Kevin.  Back in his day, Kev was the best freestyler I knew…he knew every word to every rap song, but on top of that, he made his own music.  I always loved listening to his beats, but when he would flow over them was always my favorite.  When he and the guys would hang out and take turns coming up with ciphers, his was always the best.  So, when he sent me a text one day with what he called “a poem,” I was excited and surprised.  He doesn’t often write down the stuff he comes up with, but when he does it’s pretty cool.  So, he sent me this piece, and I formatted it for him, and now I would like to share his pretty cool words with you.

H2O by Kevin Henry

While I sit stoic, 
smothered in stinky sea fish,
the sight of society succumbed to solid selfishness-
my subconscious steams like that of a shellfish.
Everybody now walks like zombies 
on Zofran and barbiturates,
In 2021,
a walk in the park
might mean mask mandates and manipulators, 
a society sculpted in supreme science, 
overpopulated with particle of plastic.
Seems we're swimming in a sea of synthetic sickness,
an ocean of sadness.
I sit stoic, 
smothered in stinky sea fish.

Then, my husband, Mark. Mark is not a writer by any means and will tell you so…he’s the math brain in this relationship; I handle the words.  But one day, he had a dream, and he wanted to capture it somehow, so he tried to write it down as a sort of poem.  He came to me for help, and we gussied up the words and changed the formatting, and now he has this:

Awakening, by Mark Falcone

Awaking under my blanket, 
winter beckons from my window, 
daring me to come outside.  
Sadness holds me there, 
frozen.
I rise and dress 
for weather 
and wander down and out,
with my protective clothing. 
Pressing cold on my face, 
he beats me down,
but I trod on in the snow- 
another day.  
Until finally, 
home, 
I wrap myself in my blanket,
hide from him again. 

What my point?  I’m a poet.  They’re poets.  You’re a poet.  Poetry lives inside of all of us, if only we are brave enough to let it out of our hearts.  That’s where it resides, deep inside your soul, sleeping and waiting to be released.  So why not let it out?  Don’t be scared.  What you make is beautiful, and if you don’t think so, no one else will either.  (Also…I am totally free to help you edit, should you want to make it a little shinier.) 

So, Happy (Belated) World Poetry Day, to all us poets!

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