For The Love Of poetry

Have you ever sat down and tried to write a poem? It can be simultaneously humbling and exhilarating, depending upon where you are in your life, what you’re feeling at the moment, how deep your stream of experience and emotions runs.. even whether you might have a need to express yourself and your thoughts.

“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.” – Audre Lorde

“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” – William Wordsworth

“I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.” – Socrates

I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I’ll die like a poet.” – Bob Dylan


I have always loved poetry, even as a kid. I memorized “Casey At The Bat” by 10, and several of Robert Service’s Alaskan poems shortly after. Didn’t really try on my own, though, until I was 29. Living alone in Boston, no girlfriend and missing Montana mightily, I finally sat down one evening and decided to write a poem, a simple poem about the things that were on my mind and heavy on my heart.

          Way up high
Where the mist floats slowly by green mountain tops
          Where the morning sun cuts through the mist
To touch the trees and color them
          And warms the earth below

          Way up high
Where dark clouds gather strength for their assault
          Where the mountain tops reach up to take
The thunder and the lightning to their hearts

          Way up high
Where the stillness of the evening air
          Gives birth to timelessness, so sweet and pure
Where the whisper of a different thing is everywhere
          And breathes a song of solitude, and love

          This is where I’ll take her
With all her little doubts and fears
          I’ll take her way up high
To show her where my heart has been
          To let her soul take flight

          To free herself from needless ways
That troubled times have brought
          To see at last, through nature’s eye
The endless cycle of her life

          Way up high, I’ll take her there
To live the way we want to live
          To bear a child beneath the trees
To give back all that is ours to give

          Way up high
Where the mist floats slowly by green mountain tops
          Where the morning sun cuts through the mist
To touch the trees and color them
          And warms the earth below


I think it’s kind of cool that, even back then, I wasn’t concerned with rhyming or iambic pentameter. Probably because I had read quite a bit of poetry by that time and was beginning to understand its depth, its flexibility.

Here’s another one of mine, later on –

A poet’s voice is a quiet voice
But it rings with a power so true
With undertones of what is real
Right now, for me and for you

A poet’s voice is a quiet voice
And it tells what our hearts long to say
To observe and understand the world
In a more creative way.

A poet’s voice is a quiet voice
That longs to be understood
As it sings through its rhymes of more mystical times
As only a poet could

A poet’s voice is a quiet voice
Yet it screams for the truth to be heard
In its quiet whisper of integrity
Of the power of the truth in the words

A poet’s voice is a quiet voce
To dismiss it sometimes seems the way
But it carries the pain of the present
Within hope for a better day

A poet’s voice is a quiet voice
But it carries emotions within
That help us recall what we know to be true
Far beyond all the madness and din

A poet’s voice is a quiet voice
Sharing thoughts that our hearts long to say
Though the path can be twisty, there’s always a choice
And reminds us, our heart knows the way

I have long felt that poetry is the art of revealing precious truths, secret emotions, and mystic perceptions, with words. The structure of poetry, however loose, somehow reveals the power of words that seems to go deeper, even purer.

The great poets often pull me into their dimension, helping me feel beyond myself, helping me see clearer, through their magical manipulation of ordinary words. Often I have found strange words placed in a stream of thought that don’t fit, don’t belong, yet when I finish the sentence or the thought, that seeming misplacement of the word suddenly casts a new dimension, and a new, deeper meaning to that thought. I’ve never been able to do that, but damn, I wish I could. In my mind it’s one of the specialties of a true poet.

The lyrics of songs, especially the old songs, are often poetic, even poems within themselves. Here are the lyrics to a Paul Simon song, I Do It For Your Love, which I love. If this isn’t a beautiful poem, then …

I Do It For Your Love
Paul Simon

We were married on a rainy day
The sky was yellow
And the grass was gray
We signed the papers
And we drove away
I do it for your love

The rooms were musty
And the pipes were old
All that winter we shared a cold
Drank all the orange juice
That we could hold
I do it for your love

Found a rug
In an old junk shop
And I brought it home to you
Along the way the colors ran
The orange bled in the blue

The sting of reason
The splash of tears
The northern and the southern

Love emerges
And it disappears
I do it for your love
I do it for your love

I have written poems for years, all kinds of poems… poems for new babies, poems for high school graduates, poems for good friends, and poems that try to be real poems. Here’s a short poem I wrote last week, simply trying to express a feeling in a way I know other, real poets would write it.

not. A. poem

A bird upon a post
Lit by morning sun
Sings a short burst
Of beauty, of simplicity

I write these lines
In just that way
Because I’ve read
What real poets write

To any poetry lover
Who sees through my paltry attempt
I also see it
And feel it

How sad, to feel a pain
When attempting to flatter creativity
By copying it
Even in sincerity

In any event, my heart rises
To the simple song of that bird
It knows a depth of beauty in this life
That I will never know

See, I’m aware that I’m not a poet, not really. I suppose I’m a poet in the same sense that I’m a composer – I’ve written tons of songs, tv jingles and scores for industrial and conservation films, and I know for a fact that in the great scheme of things, I’m prolific and versatile, but my overall quality is only a tick or two better than mediocre.

That’s a positive thing to know on several levels… one, I already know how my work, be it music, poetry or writing, is going to be received, and even, to a degree, by whom. Second, because I know these things about myself, there seems to be no pressure to be constantly brilliant, thereby opening the door to my creative muse to fire away, with little concern for my thoughts and creations shaking the outside world to any extent.

Creation of any kind can be pure fun when it’s not weighted by responsibility or deadline… or ego. You know those song writers who tell their interviewers that they “wrote that song in 10 minutes.” They’re not lying. Sometimes, even for me, fairly creative ideas, be they music or words, or even pictures, occasionally come rushing out almost faster than I can capture them. In those moments, our creative channel is wide open, and I can tell you, it feels fantastic!

Here are two poems written by dear friends of mine.


Colonel Jack Waller –

Truth Is A Pathless Land

In memory of J.K.

I was once known as a so-called wizard.
While wandering around Truth’s Pathless Land,
I lost whatever way I had with words.

Becoming mindful, without memory
or logic, I had the freedom to choose
where my wandering in truth might take me.

I enjoyed the absence of all guideposts,
I needed no sense of destination.
I had no care about how lost I was.

C.J. Waller, Jr


I have not written to communicate.
I have written, instead, to ruminate.

I ruminate and compose in fragments,
spontaneous momentary scribbles,

both poetic and philosophical,
as evidence of my fragmented mind.

Long after their original scribbling,
I still struggle to edit my writings,

asking questions regarding their value:
What’s the point? Why bother? Who else will care?

I’ve written as a means to self-knowledge,
as part of living an examined life.

I have written in the hope that someday,
I might be able to read my own mind.

C.J. Waller, Jr


Joseph Glosson –

I have written very limited poetry, of which only one survives.

     I walk these woods
     in the soft falling rain
    and listen as the leaves
   seem to whisper your name.


And he, somewhat accidentally, also wrote this one –

Feb 10, 2024

And I, displeased
with the unforgiving reflection
in my bathroom mirror
resist the unopened Remi
as it remains hidden from family
cloaked in its cardboard cylinder
awaiting your valued company


These two gentlemen appreciate good poetry and understand it well. I occasionally force my attempts on them, and am pleased to report that they’ve not come right out and asked me to stop… yet. Bless them! And, somewhat strangely, their indulgence inspires me to keep trying!

Knowing that it’s already far too late to leave you wanting more, still I’m going to foist one last poem of mine on you. See, that’s the beauty of writing a blog… one never has to stop for any reason except for running out of ideas… or needing a nap.

Under the wisteria
I often seek repose
To reap the beauty of this place
With eyes, with ears, with nose

The ocean air, the blooming flowers
That mix of land and sea
Of nature’s Springtime coming out
Is magical to me

The song of birds, the morning air
The soft breeze in the pines
Is whispering to me that love
And peace, right here, is mine

Under the wisteria
Life’s beauty does unfold
Assuring me contentment
In years of growing old

For we are not immortal
Our hearts are not so pure
But under the wisteria
My secret dreams endure

Steve Hulse

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