2014’s National Poetry Month found me posting every day, adding a chapter of poetry to the common space of this blog. 2015 rolled around in a big hurry and April arrived right on cue after the conclusion of March, as is its habit. It seemed a good time to revive the blog that’s been much neglected, according to its present nature. A semi-valiant effort was made. But there was a tropical interlude. And mornings of laundry. A bit of work. Just like that, tomorrow the calendar will read ‘May’ and another ‘National Poetry Month’ concludes. What a fitting time then, to close out the homage to poetry with Billy Collins’ “My Life.” Enjoy!!
Sometimes I see it as a straight line
drawn with a pencil and a ruler
transecting the circle of the world
or as a finger piercing
a smoke ring, casual, inquisitive,
but then the sun will come out
or the phone will ring
and I will cease to wonder
if it is one thing,
a large ball of air and memory,
or many things,
a string of small farming towns,
a dark road winding through them.
Let us say it is a field
I have been hoeing every day,
hoeing and singing,
then going to sleep in one of its furrows,
or now that it is more than half over,
a partially open door,
rain dripping from the eaves.
Like yours, it could be anything,
a nest with one egg,
a hallway that leads to a thousand rooms—
whatever happens to float into view
when I close my eyes
or look out a window
for more than a few minutes,
so that some days I think
it must be everything and nothing at once.
But this morning, sitting up in bed,
wearing my black sweater and my glasses,
the curtains drawn and the windows up,
I am a lake, my poem is an empty boat,
And my life is the breeze that blows
through the whole scene
Stirring everything it touches—
The surface of the water, the limp sail,
Even the heavy, leafy trees along the shore.