Wednesday, June 14, 2006

If I Could Speak In Silk

by Judy Johns (read June 2006)
Johns is the 2006 Utah Poet of the Year. I enjoyed this little collection of poems and I love the title. Reminds me of another author who said, "Oh, that I had the voice of an angel." Both create a single ping of longing in my soul for the same gift. Several of the poems in this collection encapsulated feelings I have or have had. I would like to record all those, but I settled on just this one:
The Bad Poets Prayer
Let me wake up with the gift
to see humor in grass,
pathos in telephone poles,
rhythm in parking lots,
and color in pigeons.
Lift me from the quicksand
of cliche and tired images
which weigh like cement shoes
on my poor murdered verse.
Others have this gift,
I have a craving as
stong as any addict
for the rush, the high
of knowing that no other poet
could capture this same moment
as perfectly.
And if that is too much to ask,
then take away this urge
to commit to paper
evidence that I lack the gift.

I identified, not because I have any talent for writing poetry, but because I have talents in other areas and sometimes I feel that the results I produce are only good enough to be trampled on by cement feet. When will I ever feel like what I do is good enough?! Haven't we all felt that from time to time? I guess that's why we enjoy poetry and other written work.