Chi Po & the Sorcerer

This book, for “children and philosophers” has been a staple in our house for years. It’s the tale of a young painter in China and his relationship to the local sorcerer.  In one chapter, the sorcerer, teaching the painter to focus, asks him to imagine everything he wants, and the boy thinks of toys and bicycles and a dozen other material things. Then the sorcerer says he needs to banish all those thoughts if he wants to paint.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the streets and stores and online sources are full of anything we might imagine we or someone else could want, and there are plenty of terrible holiday poems to go with it. So here is a little thought from William Stafford to balance things out:


straw, feathers, dust–
little things

but if they all go one way
that’s the way the wind goes

William Stafford (courtesy of Sean the Sharpener)

And of course, you can buy Chi Po & the Sorcerer or William Stafford’s poems online!

Radically Accessible Poetry

I’ve been thinking about an online journal, maybe called Radically Accessible Poetry. The poems in the journal would be anything I wanted to publish. The only criterion for publication is that they have an immediate impact. Of course, I would be the judge of that. It’s a tempting idea because so much poetry seems unavailable–that is, the content and the expression leave me unmoved. And there’s something particularly depressing in reading one presumably sincere effort after another and feeling so little.

In any case,  Radically Accessible Poetry (or RAP–what’s a journal without an acronym?) might include poems like the two I mentioned almost a year ago, as well as longer poems. Most poems would be short, though. For one thing, short poems are less demanding and therefore more accessible, and for another it’s easier to find good short ones than good long ones.

As I don’t want to start a whole new website for RAD, perhaps I’ll just assume my poetry entries here are the journal. Interesting that the flyer for WIlliam Stafford’s reading was from a May 8th in the past; too bad he’s not with us anymore to read poems like this: Continue reading “Radically Accessible Poetry”