I attended a local poetry reading this week. I got to read my poem “August,” about a struggling garden in late summer in Florida. The show “Moss Gossamer” was put on by Johnny Masiulewicz of Happy Tapir Press (you can check out his other publications and support his work by donating a coffee.) It was hosted in the black box theater of Bab’s Lab at CORK in Jacksonville.
In it, “August” appears alongside the work of about thirty other poets with some connection to NE Florida. I’m very excited and honored to be included in this bunch, especially now, having heard most of them read. From watermelon fields, to bad boyfriends, to the loss of a parent and beyond, this collection is steeped in the swampy green tea of Northeast Florida and will give you a real taste of the place and the people.
In the following poem, I defend poetry and those who practice it,and prod you to take in a poetry reading, yourself.
Not to support the poets. Not for them. For you.
So unconvinced of lesser things,
Of this, I can be sure:
I dig down to the heart of things.
I open up the door
So you may enter. You, who miss
The creaking of the chair,
The wailing of the train at night:
For you, I can be there.
And while you scratch the surface,
Promise greatness, show disdain,
I watch the rain. For there is much
Profound in the mundane.
I place my thought impressions
In a small enameled box
And wrap it as a present,
Though I don’t expect your thanks.
You’ll take it, for it’s good for you:
To take a little pause,
To stop and smell the roses
Without seeking their applause,
To see another’s point of view–
Not Propaganda’s bland
And jagged strokes–but sharpened nibs,
Fine-etching in the sand.
And when I gather with my kind,
I hope you will be there,
To feel the blessed breeze of poets
Ruffling your hair.
Have you not yet made up your mind?
Not sure it will be fun?
Then come. For in this bristling, busy world,
It is a balm
And treasure. Listen to the wind
Now rattling round your brain.
Be tempted not, by Emptiness.
Be filled, with poets’ pain.
Copyright 2023 Andrea LeDew