A Poet's Lament

This is a book of poems that I thought suitable for poets who have been writing for a few years. Sooner or later, we all get writer's block or wonder why we write poetry or we try to explain what poetry is about to some friend or even to ourselves.

After thirty or more years of on and off writing, I realized I had a modest collection of poems that examine these questions and attempt to explain what the whole process is about. This book is that collection of poems about poetry.

Some of these pieces are quite old and some are less than perfect as poems but they nevertheless address the subject. After a bit of study, I have organized these poems into four loose groups.

What is Poetry? - This group of poems examines the nature of poetic expression. How does a poem speak of the author, what content is suitable for a poem and how does the author see himself as the agent of poetic expression.

How to Find a Poem? - The dry spell is an eternal problem for any writer. The poems in this section examines and 'Laments' the loss of inspiration and inability to create even if a few ideas are present but can't be formed into a coherent poem.

On Being a Poet - What does it mean to be a Poet? Well, I've never been quite sure and these pieces reflect my best guesses over the years. I am sure the reader who writes regularly will identify with one or two concepts presented in these poems.

Critique - We are never as good as we think we are. The poems in this section speak about being gentle when offering critique and the final poem pleads for 'kindness' from those who read "my carved wooden bones".


Whenever a poem is ripped from my soul,
a new one forms to heal the wound.

Click to Listen

The Painted Word

If you look closely at a word,
you see the artist's pencil lines,
the layers of paint, the shadows
that make it whole.

If you look at two words together,
you feel the artist press
his soft brush onto the canvas,
his lips just moving to confirm
the colour of his mind.

If you see all the words at once,
you hear him breathe
the shadows in, the colours out,
and beneath it all,
the whisper of his heart.