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.

Old Iron by Naomi Shihab Nye

Some days the words pass us,	
cars loaded with vacationers.
We are not going where they are going.
Soon as they top the hill	
we’ll be on the lost road again,
shouting once, then listening,
kicking a stone towards
anything like a tree.

Then the first language crawls back	
into the ears, humming.
A twig scratches two words	
in damp red earth:
NO   THOUGHT.
I’m looking for cedar stumps,	
a black calf in a blue field,
anything to report
that has nothing to do with my life.

I’m looking for the rusted skillet	
hunters left hanging on a branch.
Years after they sighed in firelight	
the tree claims their old iron
as another natural arm.

~ from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems 
(Far Corner Books, 1995)


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