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.

Processes by Joan Colby

Ten years ago
I was writing poems	
brief as bird tracks.

A wing encapsuled 
an entire spring.

Three morning grace notes	
scored all summer.

A single beak	
bit off autumn like a worm.

A few hieroglyphs	
on the snow
said everything there was
to know of winter.

I was younger then.
I was more certain.

All my short spare poems	
knotted themselves into a final word
like a crow shot from a tree.  

But I’ve lost that brevity,	
that arrogance
of what is what,
and my poems
flock like blackbirds
gleaning word after word,
line after line
from the waving field.

They are still famished,	
cawing terribly in my mind.
I don’t know what to give them.
I keep on writing, 	
and writing.

~ from What have you lost?  (HarperCollins, Greenwillow Books, 1999)


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