Last night I was one of a group of five poets who read from our work to recognize National Poetry Month. We met at Hold Fast Brewery in Springfield. It was a venue where I hadn’t been before. Here’s a shot of former Springfield Mayor ROBERT STEPHENS reading his work in partnership with Ozark Literacy Council to remind people of the importance of reading. There were many more people there than you see in the picture. We were outside so the wind was a small problem, as was the sun in my eyes when I was at the mike earlier, but not as bad as the time I read at a literature conference while standing atop the third-base dugout in the Springfield Cardinals baseball stadium on a gusty day that sent pages flying into the bleachers. Earlier that day I’d listened to BILLY COLLINS read from the same spot so I knew it could be done.
Last night I read from THE DIRT BOOK (And Now We Know), THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS (Cow Pie Jewels), BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (A Tick’s Friends), CONNECTING DOTS (Something Happened Over Summer), and finished with the last poem in CONNECTING DOTS (Wishing You Bright Paint.) It’s a personal favorite of mine. Here it is.
WISHING YOU BRIGHT PAINT Sometimes I feel -- I don’t know – squeezed out like a tube of toothpaste toward the end rolled up tight against the cap for a few last brushings. But if I say the tube is paint used in pictures of my life, that makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, used the squeezes to make things happen. I like that better So as we go on, you and I, you to your life, me to mine, I wish you tubes of bright paint for all the pictures of your life. Take off their caps, squeeze them well, keep painting. (c) 2004 David L. Harrison, from Connecting Dots, Poems of My Journey