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.

Heredity by Louis Jenkins

I have come to recognize certain genetic traits that have been
handed down to me, patterns of behavior, certain involuntary 
actions.  I can feel them happening, that worried look of my 
mother’s, that almost angry, I-deserve-better-than-this look.
And my father’s cough, the sleeves of his work shirt rolled to
the elbow, a pencil poised motionless above a scrap of paper
lying on the yellow oilcloth that covers the table, next to the
white porcelain salt and pepper shakers with the red metal
tops.  Which means it must be sometime in the 1040’s, the war
still going on.  Neither of them saying a work, as if stunned
there in the dim late night light of the kitchen.  And what am
I doing here?  I should have been in bed hours ago.

~ from Sea Smoke  (Holy Cow! Press 2004)


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