On Writing

Franz Wazz franswazz.tumblr.com

Franz Wazz      franswazz.tumblr.com

I want to write words which sparkle
Sea`washed stones in afternoon sunshine
Which lie lazily on beds of green kelp

I want to write words which carve
Blue glacial`ice pushing the hard moraine
Ice which cracks thunder when it falls

I want to write words which weep
Red`hot tears into the stone coldest hearts
Hearts so unloved they can merely fear

I want to write words which believe
Trust truth in the face of what they’re told
Which light a bright candle in the dark

I want to write words which defy
Spring`words which bloom in the autumn
Purple figs growing on the cursed tree

I want to write words which bend
Some lost seeker’s stony path toward home
Where a father stands waiting at the gate

“M.S. Merwin once asked John Berryman how to know if his poems were any good.
Berryman replied: ‘You can’t. You can never be sure. You die without knowing.'”
~ The Writer’s Almanac, September 30, 2016


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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18 Responses to On Writing

  1. your words unfailingly do all that and more, my friend – yours is the gift of incomparable eloquence

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rivrvlogr says:

    I’d say you have a pretty good start.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like so many of your poems, Peter, I want to read this one over and over and each time I find another nuance of meaning and beauty. I attend a writer’s group every week and we each bring in a poem that touched us during the week. Tuesday night I will once again share a poem of yours with this fellowship of writers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, LuAnne, I am honored by the fact my poems touch you in a way you’d want to share with others. No poem is really ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they simply are what they are, and some move others in meaningful ways while others don’t. I’m glad mine move you positively . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • We had a great time enjoying your poem as a group last night. We even used it as a prompt for some journal writing. I have a poem started that is very much inspired by this poem of yours. If you do not mind, I would like to post it on my blog once I have it polished and then ping back to this post of yours. Would that be ok with you?


    • Yes, of course, feel free to use my poetry any way you like. I do not copyright any of my poetry: it’s all in the public domain . . . And I’m honored your group found it interesting enough to use it as a prompt. Be sure to send me your poem when you’ve finished with it. peternotehelfer@gmail.com . . . Blessings . . .


  4. you do – this is beautiful. Love your ‘sea-washed stones’…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. crow says:

    Argh, that quote! I knew it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You must read the Writer’s Almanac every day as I do . . .


  7. Jeyran Main says:

    You have a very beautiful website. I look forward to coming back and reading more. Please stop by mine and if you like, follow back.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your words do


    Liked by 1 person

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