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.

Over the Shoulder by Marlene Cookshaw

Guilt is a bag someone has carried 
up the hill from the pub.  A brown bag
the size of a good catch, or
darkish, and bigger than that:
duffel over the shoulder.

Guilt is a pool with ladders 
rising in every direction.
We climb and fall back and climb again.
Who can make the connection between 
what snaps underfoot and what drenches us?

We are not taught how to do nothing.
We’re dragged from our busy infancy 
and distracted for years till our
balloon of competence shreds.
There are secrets you know, 

there is what happens when
what you haven’t imagined occurs.
Pain or its absence.  Wind 
bares the back of a sparrow’s head
underneath its buffer of down.

I believe in birds, the smallness of them, 
their potential for flight, the way
they acknowledge this, even so

nodding and feeding in front of us.

~ from Double Somersaults (Brick Books, 1999)


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with the exception of 'poems of the week' where © copyright remains with the poets or their publishers