I used to question what was
at the center of me
all the time searching
for answers to half-formed questions
such a waste of time
so much better to give from the center
now I teach young people
now I love my wife and sons
now I write poems to share
the center is important but so is reaching out
looking inward to find
what you have to give
* * * * *
This poem was written in response to a prompt at Big Tent Poetry about what's at the center. This is a prompt that I always intended to respond to during April, but just didn't get to; I think because it scared me.
I offer it today as a farewell to Big Tent Poetry. I have been a benefactor of the wonderful founders and participants of that online community - and for that I am most grateful. It has helped me find a voice that I wasn't sure I had within me. To borrow part of a line from Elizabeth, whose poetry I admire: I have come "to the sound of my own soul singing".
I am in a very different place in my poetry writing than the founders of Big Tent Poetry. I certainly don't feel confident enough to host a site as they have done and as others are doing. I am still finding my center and doing what I can to reach out. I will do my part and write the best poems I can, and offer encouragement to others who are doing the same. And I will always be grateful to the wonderful people who host sites, like Big Tent Poetry, that are such a force for beautiful communication.
And I wish Carolee, Deb, and Jill the best of luck at A Fine Kettle of Fish. I will be following their efforts. I hope the kettle will find them more centered as well as reaching out and inspiring each other. They have certainly given enough of themselves, and for that I am grateful.