Of late I've read the news, afterward feeling anguish rip its talons into my hide. People against anything Muslim near Ground Zero; hateful words against Obama; crazy people misinterpreting the First Amendment.
Of late I've read blogs on religion, politics and the crazy people "restoring honor" via gathering in D.C. on the hallowed date of Martin Luther King's infamous speech. Read the ensuing anguish filled comments.
I had to get away from it all. Get out of the house. Go for a ride before my head exploded.
To the mall I went, pair of jeans in a Gap bag for return; the need for new foundation; some wall frames for the cool art deco prints recently purchased. Shopping chores complete, I felt compelled to honor the sign - Borders Books. After passing through the front tables of memoirs and racing through the paperback aisles, I found myself in the heart of its Literary Fiction section.
And I had the book in mind, the one I so badly wanted, and stood before the "M's" searching, searching, suddenly realizing that many authors' last name begin with that letter. Book spines at eye level, I began pulling a few. Good, okay, oh, excellent! I heard myself say as I thumbed through the pages, yet, the one I looked for not present. I slowly turned to walk away when a faced-out book grabbed my attention. Bright yellow cover, a red and white sticker shouting $4.99, and then in navy blue, the title and author. I sighed.
Good Poems for Hard Times, Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor. As if the angel of stacks tapped me on the shoulder, or maybe she whispered in my ear, not really sure, there was the unplanned anecdote.
The inside cover says this, "Poetry is the last preserve of honest speech and the outspoken heart. It holds the cadence of common life. It has a passion for truth and justice and liberty - the spirit that has kept the American porch light lit through dark ages of history. And the meaning of poetry is to give courage."
Necessary words for my dire straits. Pages filled with 185 poems. Carver, Kenyon, Cummings, Keats, and my favorite, Billy Collins, to name a few. Poems for the ages. Meant to uplift the spirit when dwindling in the shadows, well received by this soul who unconsciously grasped for an invisible rope.
Live, laugh, love, my friends. Never underestimate the power of the pen, especially one that produces great poetry...
Never ignore the silent voices whispering in your head.