About what’s at the center

I used to question     what was
at the center     of me
all the time     searching
for answers     to half-formed questions

such a waste     of time

so much better     to give from the center
now I teach     young people
now I love     my wife and sons
now I write     poems to share

the center is important     but so is reaching out
looking inward     to find
what you have     to give

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to a prompt at Big Tent Poetry about what’s at the center. This is a prompt that I always intended to respond to during April, but just didn’t get to; I think because it scared me.

I offer it today as a farewell to Big Tent Poetry. I have been a benefactor of the wonderful founders and participants of that online community – and for that I am most grateful. It has helped me find a voice that I wasn’t sure I had within me. To borrow part of a line from Elizabeth, whose poetry I admire: I have come “to the sound of my own soul singing”.

I am in a very different place in my poetry writing than the founders of Big Tent Poetry. I certainly don’t feel confident enough to host a site as they have done and as others are doing. I am still finding my center and doing what I can to reach out. I will do my part and write the best poems I can, and offer encouragement to others who are doing the same. And I will always be grateful to the wonderful people who host sites, like Big Tent Poetry, that are such a force for beautiful communication.

And I wish Carolee, Deb, and Jill the best of luck at A Fine Kettle of Fish. I will be following their efforts. I hope the kettle will find them more centered as well as reaching out and inspiring each other. They have certainly given enough of themselves, and for that I am grateful.

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12 thoughts on “About what’s at the center

  1. I like the form of this – the river running through the center. And the message, of course — which I agree with wholeheartedly. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kelly, thank you. It was reading your poem, “The Center”, that reminded me of this prompt and inspired me to write this poem. Thank you for that. I like the idea of a river running through the center.

    Richard

    • Mariya, thank you for thought-provoking. Curious good or curious bad? I wasn’t sure about the form, but I hope it works. I thought the poem itself needed a center; it’s not symmetrical, and it’s not balanced from top to bottom, but it is a center.

      Richarde

  3. You honor all the circus goers with your poem. It’s beautiful & honest. The very best kind of poem.

    We all have a lot to learn, which is the wonderfulness of poetry, & a little of the frustration, too. I’m one (of many, to be sure) who is delighted you found the confidence to share your unique and gifted voice. Let’s toast each other in the journey. And enjoy the process. (I’m giving myself a little mini-pep talk here, too!)

    Sincerely,

    deb

  4. Deb, your comments are much appreciated. It is a wonderful frustration, isn’t it? Thank you for the vote of confidence; I have found confidence in myself and my writing abilities – and have been much rewarded for it. Yes, let’s raise a glass and toast each other; it’s a journey worth taking and a process worth investing in.

    Richard

  5. “the center is important but so is reaching out
    looking inward to find
    what you have to give”

    what more is there to say? wonderful!

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