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Your Poetry Gives Me Eyes

April 28, 2011

Your Poetry Gives Me Eyes 

He labored at Open Mic poetry readings.
Long ago learned that these internalized feelings
now his public words
would basically evaporate upon his death,
only momentarily hold wisdom
then be dissipated over the earth,
like a morning dew. 

When younger he aspired to grandeur.
Thought his poems
would be plucked from the tree of knowledge
like pieces of ripe fruit
consumed in adulation, by a hungry audience. 

Today he understood, wisdom accrued through age,
how he wrote mostly for himself. 

The words which escaped from his hand,
flowed from his soul,
then gripped the paper tightly –
mesmerized him –
as he proofread, tinkered, sculptured. 

Thereafter most stood like unsold paintings
fastened to the wall of a gallery
visited infrequently
passed over again and again,
by eyes drawn to the pastels of others’ work. 

So after this evening’s reading
he was touched, as a listener related:
“Your poetry gave me eyes.
I could visualize the scenes,
feel the emotions swell in me.
I fought back tears.
Thank you.” 

This listener could not have envisioned
how his words would touch the poet’s heart,
resonate in the canyons of the car ride home,
bring the tears which would quench the poet’s longing.
give him comfort to write another day.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems, “I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95).  Available on Amazon at or purchase an autographed copy at

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