Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Kansas by Naomi Shihab Nye

Driving across the centre of Kansas
at midnight, we’re talking about
all our regrets, the ones we didn’t marry,
who married each other, who aren’t happy,
who should have married us.
Ah, it’s a tough world, you say, 
taking the wrong road.
Signposts appear and vanish, ghostly,
ALTERNATE 74.
I’m not aware it’s the wrong road,
I don’t live here,
this is the flattest night in the world
and I just arrived.
Grain elevators startle us, 
dark monuments
rimmed by light.
Later you pull over 
and put your head on the wheel.
I’m lost, you moan.  I have no idea where we are.
I pat your arm.
It’s alright, I say.
Surely there’s a turn-off up here somewhere.
My voice amazes me, 
coming out of the silence,
a lit spoon,
here,
swallow this.

~ from Words Under the Words (The Eigth Mountain Press, 1995)


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