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.

Crazy Woman Hanging Out Clothes by Francette Cerulli

So here I am again hanging out clothes
as the sun goes down.  I always mis-time that last laundry load
so I’m sending it out on the line into the dark.  
I look like a crazy woman doing this.  
People hang clothes in the morning.
I know this.

But alone on the back porch hanging up clothes in the dark,
I reason with myself out loud:
What can happen to clothes in the dark air 
that we are afraid to leave them overnight?
Will they be gone in the morning 
because we let the dark have them?
Will the dark cling to our clothes like vapors, 
making us do unpredictable things when we wear them?

I decide I’m past the worrying point.
I’m standing here in the dark hanging up clothes, 
talking to myself about whether hanging up clothes
in the dark is going to make me do insane things.

I look at all the things I’ve hung up so far, and figure 
they could be made whiter than white with the llight
from the stars.  But why waste all that darkness?
I have a blue shirt that faded a bit 
the last time it was washed.  I hang it up last.
I figure it will soak up a little midnight 
and be really stunning by the time the sun comes up.

~from The Spirits Need To Eat (Nine-Patch Press, 1999)


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