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A Young Man's Poem

Posted Feb 12 2013 8:30am

EDITORIAL NOTE: This evening, President Barack Obama delivers his 2013 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at 9PM eastern time. Although there are other important issues too, listen for what he says about what he calls "entitlements" - Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Unfortunately, the City Council in my town has scheduled an important town hall meeting that conflicts with the president's speech so I'll be playing catchup on the SOTU tomorrow and will have something to say on Thursday.

As most of you who read this blog know, we meet the most amazing people on the internet. For me, all of you are an example.

If you recall, on Saturday I mentioned at the top of Interesting Stuff that my 2012 interview with Cynthia Friedlob who hosts Experience Talks was being rebroadcast on radio station KPFK-FM in southern California at 9AM Pacific time.

Sometime shortly after that broadcast I received an email from Tim Caffrey who said he had heard the interview, that Saturday 9 February was his 35th birthday and that he wanted to “start my new life this way, right here.”

There followed a poem he said I am free to use as I choose.

I checked around the web and found that Tim has been writing poetry since he was a kid and that he grew up in what he calls “rampant poverty.” That and other circumstances of his upbringing taught him, he says, that

“ can take as small a topic possible and make it as big as their fears or dreams allow them. I have learned that poetry is forged in fear or anger, at least in me, but the fear melts away with challenging it and skill is developed.

“My goal is to write poems that are absent of all fear or restrictions. I know that if I can develop this type of ability, all my poems will be beautiful - or transformative.”

Here is the one he emailed, Untitled Poem, that feels like it is just for us, you and me.

Look at the great cedars of
Lebanon or the Redwoods of
The Pan Pacific coast

What marvels you?

Look into the in carved depths
Of a great diamond severed
From its womb of coal

What marvels you?

Look deeply, as deeply as possible
Into the soul of the Grand Canyon's
Broken beauty upon Earth's face

What marvels you?

Look up at the twinkle of the stars
That reflect the wished of our hearts

What marvels you?

Look through the moments of
Civilization, that tell the tales
Of our struggle to know ourselves

What marvels you?

Look upon the faces of our elderly
Those grand great parents
Thick with experience
Rough & dim with struggle
Carved with refined beauty
Shining monuments of our dreams
Trophies of our existence

What burdens you?

Lovely gift to receive on a Saturday morning, don't you think? And from a stranger across the internet. You can read more about Tim Caffrey here and find a many of his poems here .

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mickey Rogers: Seeing Things Differently

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