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Friday, February 9, 2018

What draws you to write poems?

As a kid, I used to draw faces. The similarities and dissimilarities between us make a fascinating mix we could observe forever and still find something unique. Now, as a poet-writer in all genres, I seldom draw anything, but I continue to be drawn to people and the human and spiritual natures that connect us and yet differ too.

Take, for example, the general, skeletal outline we share. Some bones seem shortened, some elongated, some sturdy, some rather frail. Regardless, we each have a skeleton wrapped in us.

Or take our eyes. Some seem as open to fresh air as windows on an afternoon in Spring, while others seem unfathomable or (shudder) unlit. Nevertheless, we're each meant to have eyes.

And what about our poetic interests? Children like to experiment, play, and discover, but people who lose those qualities of wonder may be less apt to investigate new territories or develop creativity.

To be honest, I didn’t think about any of those things before writing “Adult Coloring Book.” Instead, the poem rose to the surface for me to write down and, only later, invite me to explore my ongoing interest in “you,” “them,” and (my favorite) “us.”

Adult Coloring Book

The people in these poems are void
of pigment – transparent but for bones
of chalk, Swiss cheese, or granite.

Sometimes they look at us with eyes
cat-colored by the sun but never sky
or tree bark or lumps of unlit coal.

Their hands weave lace from sea foam
and sew dandelions around our souls.

They stitch together words in folds
of scripture, ready to read us, ready
to color us whole.

By Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017, from poetry book Lost in Faith

Lost in Faith

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