Ah, the bliss of seeing my name in print! The journey has begun. Yes, I have been published in newspapers and magazines before, but being published in a book form is a different matter. Indeed, "Paper Is Not Silent!" I read my poem to the audience with such joy that I became very nervous. I do not remember reading it the way I had planned and rehearsed. Anticipation has a way of undermining many a wonderful event.
Anyway, the euphoria still enlivens me. The networking was a different matter. I had the chance to meet many who are whos. The room was energized by English language think tanks: Dr. Tonette Long, Dr. Ira E. Harrison, Attorney/Poet Barry Marks, editor of Writer's Market, Poet's Market, and Writer's Market.com Robert Lee Brewer, poet laureates, university/college professors/lecturers, innumerable published poets, publishers, editors, and winners of numerous poetry contests. I felt intelligence floating in the room all day yesterday like genuine blessings and halos resting over the heads of all who were in the room. It was more fulfilling than anything I have done in recent memory.
I know poetry will not make me rich, but the joy of it, the bliss of it is what makes it worth the lack of finances. Actually, if I had been obsessed with becoming rich, I would have chosen a different profession than teaching, but there are more rewarding things in life than money. Yes, there are. You could never place a monetary value on children: educating them, raising them well, watching them excell, and watching them become law-abiding citizens of our society.
The songs reached me a long time ago. The songs of financial sacrifice, of loving someone unconditionally, of pushing yourself and someone else to stretch beyond self-imposed limits, of achievement-oriented teaching, of poetry that palpitates in one's palms, of life lived well, of happiness that infuses the entire body despite hardships that want to stiffle, of tireless hope, and many other songs that have reached me all these years.
I am truly happy to have allowed myself to hear all these songs, to sing them, and to allow them to enrich my life. Life has been good. I will keep letting the songs reach me as long as I draw breath. My God is amazing!
If you would like to order a copy of the poetry anthology, Reach of Song 2010, please go to this website, order it, and let the songs in there reach you: www.georgiapoetrysociety.org.
Georgia's own internationally acclaimed poet, Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958), put it best:
"From chips and shards in idle times
I made these stories, shaped these rhymes;
May they engage some friendly tongue
When I am past the reach of song"
I look forward to many, many more publications with my name boldly blazoned on the front cover!
"Paper Is Not Silent!" My dream has loved paper so much for so long because it gave influence to the parched voice of a fashionista poet. Finding this outlet, that voice is now replete with expressive sound.