Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Hour of Calling (When writing a poem)
When I write a poem, I don’t need to be by a certain spot. Wherever I am, I am, I remain, even if it rains, in Chicago at the Air Port, or in Jerusalem, or Jericho, or even on top of Cape Horn; wherever I am I am even if the great condor—flies low and slow and brushes against my umbrella reading a book on my patio, and that’s happened too. Come rain or shine, anytime for me is time to write a poem. I will be here, wherever here is: anywhere will do for here! It doesn’t matter if it is: morning, noon or night, I’ll still write, right where I am. The trick is not waking up, but having a pen or pencil and paper at hand, and any kind of paper will do; —I am no longer centered on the year, month, week or for that matter, not even the day, I am centered on God, and his hour of calling—that’s when I get my insights—that’s how I wrote my first poem called: “Who,” in 1959, at twelve years old. Most recently He told me about the bird lost in the garden hut, the sleeping dog across the street, the Red China Rose in my garden, the Buoyant Ocean, PAX Television, where he had Violeta bring me and my wife to His cross—they all became poems. Someone told me a week ago or so, “All your poems seem to have God in them, one way or another!” I said, “Is that so!” It really wasn’t a question or a statement, it was just something I took for common knowledge, and who else would they expect behind those poems?