My First Love
Horses. Then poetry. My poems inspire my novels. Poetry informs the truth of a story. Life inspires the poem.
Some years ago, I tested my chops at a Barnes and Noble open mike poetry gathering. I read directly from the page in my stage fright. When I looked up, not only did everyone remain in their seats the whole time, people emerged from the book aisles to hear me. The grad students looked at each other with raised eyebrows.
The organizer asked, “This is your first time to read?”
I mumbled, “Yes.”
Her mouth gaped open. “Whoa.”
That was my coming out as a poet. I wanted to see if anyone would consider my thoughts worth enjoying. That was neurotic, I know. But it’s the truth. I would later be invited as a featured poet at Barnes and Noble grand opening in Arlington, Texas. It was quite the affirmation. I’ve learned that I need to live my truth to see my truth.
I’ve had some memorable experiences as a poet. Most notable was as a volunteer for equine-assisted therapy. Monty Roberts from the PBS special, The Man Who Listens to Horses, donated funds to our stables when he conducted a local demonstration. We gave him a copy of my poem, The Whisperer, inspired by his documentary. I also had him sign a copy of the poem for me. And it’s one of my most prized possessions. It just goes to show you that if you live authentically, the universe recognizes you and rewards you.