Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Summer's Poem

The Art of Levitating
-- South Cape Beach, Mashpee

In between the swimmers,
and far off, a lone sailboat or two,
is a man floating.
His face and palms, lifted
to an orange sun,
are a supplicant to light.

For many minutes he drifts
and seems suspended in water,
as in an earlier century,
Daniel Danglas Home
floated in the air eighty feet
above ground, then glided

through an open window
and sat to chat with friends.
But here there is no Tolstoy,
no Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
no applauding princes or queens
to watch our swimmer

weightless in water.
The waves lift, fall –
his globed face upturned.
For this moment, he escapes
to lightness, to buoyancy,
to the moment between lifting up

or sinking
blissful in the embrace

of forgetting.

(from Dream of the Antique Dealer's Daughter, Word Poetry, 2013)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Finding inspiration in unexpected places

While cleaning out my desk at work recently, I found a note penned by my father. Since he passed away in November 2011, I know it was written some time ago. He writes “Thanks for all the e-mails and poems and stuff. I’ve been doing some writing and once in awhile I look at past writing. This little story “A Special Breed” was published in the Cape Codder about twenty years ago in slightly different form. Maybe you could pass it on to the editors of “Prime Time.” Maybe they could publish it. Hope so.” (Note: Prime Time is a magazine for people over 45 published monthly by the Cape Cod Times.)

I was struck by how persistent my dad was about his writing. He was always sending out queries to editors for his stories which he called “Wendell’s Briefs.” Some of these were published, but many were not.  Somehow, he never lost his faith that it was worth writing and sending out his work.

I miss my father and treasure this small letter I had tucked away for future reading. Now it’s time to carry on his tradition: write and keep sending out my writing. As Isaac Asimov said, “You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist.”