Poetry and Prose (17)

“Do you know what you are?”
an editor asked Ray Bradbury
in his youth.
“You’re a poet!”
I love knowing he told him this.
I am not a poet, am I?
It is prose that comes to me.
But might I be, like Bradbury, a poet at heart?
I do believe it is the same magic.

Two weeks ago
I walked for hours in Mendocino
charmed by old seaside homes
by loud ravens
by unending dirt paths along the bluffs.
Once I saw an old man
standing at the top of the cliffs
looking out to sea.
I studied him
without meaning to
wanting to know he was okay.
He was very near the edge.

rocks and rock arch and bluffs at Mendocino

I imagined him feeling my scrutiny.
“Seven people stared at me today”
he tells his dead wife
and the white house on the corner
with the for sale sign
whose windows I had peeked in
earlier that day
became his home
and later I knew
he would befriend a big black dog
and I wondered if that seventh person
staring at him
is an angel.

Last week I wrote a short story
a fictional memoir
and in the middle of remembered love
was a little skinny brown and white dog.
Where did he come from?
I wonder.
I did not decide to have a dog
did not pick his colors.
He just came
and planted himself
in the heart of it.

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About Riba

I'm a writer and a teacher, though I usually say it in reverse. I hope to find more of a balance between the two. ;-)
This entry was posted in Nature, Reflections, Thoughts, Walking, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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