The Poet’s Chair at City Lights in SF. {Poetry}

The gift of being a poet
in being humble,

owning your voice
as your own voice,

& unlearning
all the mishmash of sounds
pouring out
from others
without taking them as your own,

because your words
have a unique voice print

soaked with experiences & tattooed in your manzanita axe scars
carved when you thought
that your ten-year-old 90 lb girl self could chop off a branch
of a living manzanita
to build her fort,
but the axe bounced back
into your thigh,

a lesson on being careful in your flexibility,
and later
you—as a blonde child with hair in pigtails—
crawled over a thicket of blossoming manzanitas
in the Sierra foothills
pretending to be an explorer,
and those are the sweet parts of your roots

in a language of your own,

the voice print of your soul,

& the task of being a poet,
sitting in the Poet’s Chair
where so many great women & men
rocked slowly,
speaking their truths,

& the task

is to do no harm,
use your words as your words;

it is to be flexible,
follow the flow of poetry through your veins;

it is to be humble,
know when the cadence
carries your own heartbeat to the surface,
exposing truths that you rather not see;

and, lastly, but most importantly,

it is to stay curious,
always be open for those sparks of inspiration
caught in the ordinary web of living


this poetry is a gift from the Great Spirit.

Copyright 2016 © Jessie Wright


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