I read a lot of different styles of poetry every day. I believe the key to writing good poetry is to immerse one’s self. This particular one by Collins I find stimulating because I love how Collins uses descriptive phrases like sunflash of trumpets, rows of roadside trees, the huge blue sheet of the sky, into a pasture of high grass than drops the reader at the dizzying cliffs of morality. Life is definitely too short to miss all the sun-flash and dazzle of life.
How exhilarating it was to march
along the great boulevards
in the sunflash of trumpets
and under all the waving flags–
the flag of desire, the flag of ambition.
So many of us streaming along–
all of humanity, really–
moving in perfect sync,
yet each lost in the room of a private dream.
How stimulating the scenery of the world,
the rows of roadside trees,
the huge blue sheet of the sky.
How endless it seemed until we veered
off the broad turnpike
into a pasture of high grass,
heading toward the dizzying cliffs of mortality.
Generation after generation,
we shoulder forward
under the play of clouds
until we high-step off the sharp lip into space.
So I should not have to remind you
that little time is given here
to rest on a wayside bench,
to stop and bend to the wildflowers,
or to study a bird on a branch–
not when the young
keep shoving from behind,
not when the old are tugging us forward,
pulling on our arms with all their feeble strength.
this breezy spring twilight in April.
I came to watch the evening sun set on the water.
I heard the loons crooning to their mates.
My tranquility was disrupted by a child’s screech and
two young people paddling hard in a canoe.
An elderly man fished on the opposite shore while
a woman read a book in her chair on the dock.
I shivered as the waves swished against the beach
and the cold spray hit my leg as I sat on the rock.
I struggled to regroup my thoughts, to close this day
The peace in my world was jeopardized so
I sought the calm of my beautiful beach haven.
I ached to find my composure once more
As I immersed myself in the beauty at the lake’s edge.
My mind rambled to the times when I brought my children
to swim and play in the chilling water in the summer’s heat.
Those moonlit nights on my way home from work when I swam
successfully working out stress in my own way.
I committed to memory the reasons why I must pick me up once more,
I need another sunrise, to gaze at another sunset on the lake’s edge.
The troubled emotions, I felt when I arrived have dissipated because
the lake’s rippled water refreshed my essence.
I heard the soft call of a loon, the woeful song was
a gentle reminder of my lover who waits for me
Good night, my lakeside haven!
Thank you for giving me sanctuary,
I am okay now because of you.
3 thoughts on “As a poet,”
Thank you for sharing both of these poems. The Parade made me uncomfortable – in a good way I think. I was enjoying the cadence of my parading memories but then felt like I did step off of that cliff with the ending. Your poem filled me with nostalgia, I felt empathetic when that child disturbed ‘us’ in ‘your’ thoughts – I suppose that my children had interrupted someone’s peaceful reflection too at some point in their blissfully ignorant childhoods. I enjoy reading your posts – it gives me an opportunity to think and feel a little deeper when I read them. 🙂
We frequently forget to reflect on the little things because the bigger picture dwarfs us. I’m happy you enjoy reading my posts, and that we’ve shared moments together. The connections we make is what makes our lives matter. ❤
Lyn, I love Billy Collins’s poems! They are so accessible, I think that is a big reason, and he often uses humor or wry humor, and I love that too. I especially liked the way your poem also gave us a scene, so we could be there with you. Very nice! I likes these lines: “My mind rambled to the times when I brought my children/to swim and play in the chilling water in the summer’s heat.”