I carry a reporter’s notebook with me at all times. I am always on the search for words and phrases I can use. You never know when they will grow into a poem. I hear them from people in the coffee shop. I see them as I read poetry by authors I admire, and sometimes if I pay attention, they come to me in other ways.
I had a dream one night that I was climbing a hill overlooking the ocean. There were others around me, but they appeared as brightly colored ghosts in the air. We were all moving toward a desk that sat on the ridge. When I got there it was full of pigeonholes that contained pieces of paper. I took one and it had a phrase on it. I could see that the others were taking one also, but some were letting them go, and they fluttered over the edge into the ocean.
Today, look for a word or phrase that you like, and see where it takes you. If you can’t think of one, call a friend. Once you have one, don’t let it go. It just might be lost forever.
Here’s a poem using a phrase from my notebook.
Speaking in Tongues
Once I heard the pure sound of prayer.
When a man’s voice could not hold
the exultation from spilling, like cream
soda erupting from a shaken bottle.
It was as ancient, as a holy wind
moving in primordial canyons,
over earth consecrated by God.
The sound was not of that place,
not of any people, could not be claimed.
Could not be corrupted by man.
It was a mystery to me like looking into
a well in the middle of a moonless night.
Until the day my first child was born.
Then I knew there were some joys
that could not be uttered by man,
without the language of angels.
Robert W. Kimsey