CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#023, November 2008
Tempus Fugit: time flies!
Harvest season is a time to look back in a full circle...Here is my first column for the South Valley Ink from June 2004, called, You Might Be A Poet...You might be a poet if you can find "used words" and turn them into something new like the phrase "You might be a redneck..." and make those words your own. Do you enjoy working with "found objects"? Some call "found objects" garbage. A poet often sees the potential in things that others toss aside. Poets are first and foremost CREATORS. Do you have a garden to tend? Do you keep a journal ? Do you like to draw, paint, or take pictures? If you like to create, you might be a poet.
If you are motivated by more than the almighty dollar, you might be a poet. Though a handful of famous poets are also bankers, doctors, and attorneys, monetarily RICH poets are a rare breed. If you live for yard sales, thrift towns, love the “real recycling” of old cars and old buildings and not just the buying the latest, newest thing, then you might be a poet. Or maybe an artist, a lover, a creator, a saint, or a sinner.
Like to feel life around you? Do you notice the changing seasons, birds, wind, moon, and stars? Are you a lover of dogs, cats, fish, and children? Do you want to cry out at angry child pullers and screamers in grocery stores? If you care about others and yourself, if you are troubled by war and starvation , if you can feel empathy for others, if you know that there’s a dark side to the light, a dawn to every night, then you might be a poet. If you are not a big follower of fads or fashion and mostly dress for comfort , if you want to eat all the chips and down ice cream clear to the licking spots, then you might be a poet. If you dare to run naked in the rain or listen to the music in your brain, then you might be acting like a poet. If you “gladly learn and gladly teach,” then you might be a poet.
Okay, so I might be a poet. Is that a bad thing? Not at all, it means that have deeper feelings than most. You have the eyes of a hawk and ears of a rabbit. You might even be like a big, inviting bowl of pecans on a pristine table with chairs set out for pecan eaters. Imagine those pecans. They are hard-shelled, almost impenetrable. Crack open their shells and see what’s inside. Don’t those pecans invite you to crack them open? They may be tough on the outside; inside they are tasty and sweet. Those pecans are sitting there just like you, the poet, waiting for the chance to crack open and spill out good sweet words. This little poem says it all...Happy Thanksgiving.
Poets are nuts:
Shells broken, scattered.
Hard to crack,
They beg to be peeled.
Jeff Hartzer © 2008