My friend the poet and artist Chris Luna sometimes reminds me that a poem can be about anything. As I was gazing out the window yesterday and thinking about that, the resident quail tribe strolled into the flower bed next to the driveway and began foraging. I'm fascinated by the way they travel everywhere together; no quail goes solo. "Quail in the Garden" sprang into my head as a poem title, but of course I did not write a poem at that moment and soon became sidetracked. Several hours later, I stood outside on the deck watching the moonrise. A couple more days until it's full, I thought, admiring the way the moon appeared framed inside the tangled branches of a huge ancient maple. "Moon in the Maple" could be a poem, I thought. (That one is not written yet, either.) A third thought, late in evening, was of my dad who died last Valentine's Day, and will not be watching quail or moonrise, at least not in the form I'm seeing them now. And that led to an overwhelming mix of grief and gratitude, which could be the basis for a poem! I'm thankful for those quail, for that luminous moon, for my friendship with Chris and all the other poets, writers and artists who give their gifts so we all may better appreciate the vast beauty around us. Don't let your poems pass you by.
Here's to a new year filled with beauty, appreciation, and the creation of art for us all.