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  • Every day, I receive one of Samantha Reynolds' "Poem a Day" poems
    in my Inbox. Not only are Samantha's poems consistently provocative,
    thoughtful, and elegant, but they are a reminder to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.

    I am pasting in today's poem, because it is this poem that prompted me
    to tell my little Story here about discovering Samantha, her Poem a Day
    Project, and her totally inspiring website: which
    I highly recommend to you.

    "The Secret Your Heart Wants You to Know" (see below)

    It is incredibly motivating to get a poem each day as a reminder of what
    those of us who call ourselves Writers need to be doing.....which is
    (wait for it!)....WRITE!

    It is useful to read and appreciate the work of others, especially the true
    Masters, (I am spending the summer reading the works of Joan Didion,
    as some of you already know) but Samantha Reynolds reminds me that
    my priority as a WRITER first and foremost, always, must be WRITING!

    Not thinking about writing, or talking about writing, or making friends of
    other writers (though that comes organically, not through 'networking'),
    or wondering what readers will 'love' so I can be 'popular,' whatever
    that means, or getting more and more and more people into an
    "Audience" whatever THAT means and which can be a trap if one
    takes oneself too seriously:

    Just WRITING! A wise friend once said to me that the 'secret" of
    writing was to put the seat of my pants on the seat of the chair, and
    listen, then take notes.

    I think that many of you will be inspired, cheered, and motivated to read
    Samantha's own story, from her Bentlily website, as to why she started
    her Poem a Day and what has happened for her because of this discipline.

    She has granted permission to repost and share her poems, and has a
    collection of them available. Onward, with Joy! Alex


    Here is Samantha Reynold's Story, and her Poem a Day for today, below:

    From Samantha:

    Why a poem a day?

    In January 2011, I was inspired by my friend, Grace, to skip New Year’s resolutions and decide on one theme instead. After much deliberation, I decided my theme would be “to be present.” As a new mother, I figured this was a tricky way to get me to make sure the subtleties of my son’s first year didn’t go unnoticed.

    But how does one just “be present?” I’m a lousy meditator and a compulsive list-maker, both of which launch me into daydreaming about the future much of the time. What does — and always has — ground me to the very pinpoint of the present is writing. And so it was that I decided to make it my Year of Being a Poet.

    I pledged to write one poem a day. Not to rack up reams of poetry — that was just a lovely side-effect. No, the real goal was to train me to see the world constantly with the eyes of a poet, which means to slow down, savour, take delight in, and note the very essence of the world around me.

    To be present.

    It wasn’t long before I realized I had become addicted. What was meant to be a one-year experiment has threaded its way into my being. I wouldn’t know how to stop now even if I wanted to.

    If you have stumbled upon this site, I hope you enjoy the poems. But more than that, I hope you try it yourself. Be a poet for a day. I dare you. Let the world in and watch as it tumbles out from your fingertips onto the page, revealing shades of the day you would otherwise surely have missed.


    The secret your heart wants you to know

    by Samantha Reynolds, www,

    Love is a story
    that you author

    you are not a character
    you are the plot

    you must decide
    how to tell it
    how to keep it
    from ending

    you must decide
    to be a hero

    you must decide
    not to horde it
    as if only your lover
    should know it

    there are ways to love a book
    a memory
    the way the light
    hung in the trees
    gentle and playful
    the moment I heard
    he died

    if this sounds hard
    think of your heart
    each thump
    like a kid pulling
    at your pant leg
    to tell you

    give more
    give more
    you can never
    give it all

    (Photograph by Alex in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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