One Magical Poetry Trio: Clay, Robins, Limon

In the very beginning of April 2012, my lovely artist friend, Kimberly, invited me to a poetry reading in Omaha. I had no information on who the poets were and neither asked Kimberly or researched the event online to learn about the evening’s guests. As someone with a loving connection to the world of poetry–that magical, but also logical, world of symbol and myth and metaphor and emotion created by the language of poetry–I knew it didn’t matter who the writers were, that what they were bringing to their readers was likely to have earned its place in the wider world considering they were now on a book tour together, driving through various states with a supply of their books riding along and ready to enter the lives of others.

We arrived at the reading just as the first poet was taking his place in front of the microphone, and as gracefully as possible stuffed ourselves through the small crowd to get to two open chairs near the front. I love the moment of suspense, that lively energy, that swirls around in the silence just before a writer takes a breath and begins reading from his or her work: What words will show up, what stories and ideas? Where will it take your mind and emotions, where will it all hit you hardest? Also, will I love, really love, the fact that I took the time to be here?

I would never consider sitting in on any writer’s reading a waste of my time, but I do love it when the world they offer with their work invites me in wholly and lets me stay awhile.

We sat through the readings given by Adam Clay, Michael Robins, and Ada Limon, and not only did I love the time I had taken to be there, but I also felt like bowing a little and kissing Kimberly’s hand in gratitude for calling me that evening and saying, simply, “You should check it out!”

If you are a reader or writer of poetry, if you can’t help having a natural soul-connection to the world poems create and reside in, please, if you buy anything new from this artform, make it works by Clay, Robins, and Limon if you haven’t already. And hopefully you will feel a similar connection to and admiration for their work.

Admittedly, the personal connection was there for me at the start, with the first poem mentioning Chicago (a city all three poets have a connection to). I had returned from Chicago a couple of weeks before, still full of the adventure of journeying on the train, still full of the colors and horizon of the city, even more full of love for my dear soulmate and therefore full also with a sense of misery being in our different cities again, unaware he would soon be moving back. That first poem made me happy, it made me sad. It spoke to me in a way it wouldn’t have if I had just returned from any other city in the world under different circumstances. The specific personal connection got my attention, and I loved the poem all the more for it, but the rest of the poems kept that connection with their honest, graceful, unpretentious yet powerful storytelling.

The night had a sense of beauty and magic and energy; not only did the writers’ poems all stand strong on their own, but the writers’ poems getting together in the same space intensified the reading. Whoever was insightful enough to put these three writers together–whether an instructor or an agent or the writers themselves–has a great instinct and should be thanked for bringing such a perfect trio together, dreaming up that they should tour around an area of this world with their own worlds of words.

Ada Limonón/e/B001K7P35Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1389482284&sr=1-2-ent
Adam Clay
Michael Robins

New Year Renewal, Reflection, and Accessing the Good

New Year’s is thought of as a time of renewal. To renew is to “recommence” or to “come back to or start again” or to “resume (an activity) after an interruption.” What is it that stops at December 31st and resumes on January 1st? There’s really no blank space between minutes, no gap between night and day, no stopping of one moment flowing into all the others. There’s no stopping, also, of the energy of our cells and thoughts, the energy flow of all life: motion and dreams perpetual.

Reflection, though, is the thoughtful interruption of our linear thinking, or even our hyperactive, spastic, circular and boomerang and every-which-way thoughts. We pause the direction and commotion, we create a peaceful valley of ideas, memories, and hopes. We think on something and then ask ourselves what it means or how it can lead to improvement in life. We reflect also to give thanks for what we have, what we have experienced, for whatever it is we should hold sincerest gratitude for.

Reflection, “or to sit in serious thought,” letting thoughts of a day or moment or period of time bounce back from their memories into our current reality so that we may seriously consider the emotion and meaning of them. And forge new ideas and directions in life.

What a lovely way to enter into a new year, by bridging from the old one on the structure of reflection.
What will you reflect on, this first day of the new year, this auspicious time versed in renewal? Interrupt your thoughts for a moment, let your memories, hopes and emotions be the guides. Let a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of wine (Apothic Red, if you prefer a recommendation) settle in with you at the table or on the couch if you like a festive mood.

For an hour my husband and I sat, long-stemmed glasses in hand, the hookah burning the fragrance of fruity tobacco throughout the living room bringing an ambience like a temple ripe with incense, and we looked back in order to look forward. We reflected on goals accomplished, those making progress, those that may need total revisions. We talked about gratitude and ties between people, what keeps us, as loving and energetic beings, going in this life. It was the most formal pause for reflection I’ve had in a long time and it was refreshing.

Recently, I began reading the book Life After Death–“A must read for everyone who will die,” according to Dr. Candace B. Pert, Ph.D.–by Deepak Chopra. I respect Dr. Chopra’s experiences and perspectives and have been reading his books and listening to his lectures for many years; I consider him full of great resources as a spiritual teacher. In Life After Death, Chopra describes how there are different planes of existence that are based on different frequencies of consciousness, explaining the earth to be a dense spiritual world and lokas, referred to in the Western culture as astral planes, as higher spiritual planes. Chopra states, “Every frequency in nature exists simultaneously, and yet we experience only what we see.” He goes on to describe telepathy, clairvoyance, spirits and souls. We exist on an earth where we don’t see or hear the overlapping of existence of the planes, most often, but they are there and quite often coexisting.

Whether you believe there is more to the complex structure our material and immaterial universe and beyond–up to and including senses beyond the basic five, the existence of planes, the quantum field theories speaking of the entire universe as made of vibrating fields that play ” a vast, subatomic symphony,” and spirits and souls–or you don’t, at least be aware that existence is vast and rich, it is more full than we are aware of, and consequently holds many opportunities as long as we are willing to relfect, seek, and act.

Happy 2014, and if it didn’t start out with happy don’t despair; even if it appears that the “bad” is all that is present, it is actually coexisting with all that is “good.” Rest assured, the good is accessible.