Today my poetry has now been brought out to a larger audience through a friend and admirer of the words that find their way to her mind and Soul.
Many times I wonder, where did they come from!
Then I Am told that they are a part of each of us.
I started reading and reciting poetry when I was about 9 years old and when I was 15 began writing it.
Let me digress…
I grew up on the streets of Boston, sometimes quite literally, and would pop in and out of Cafes where the great minds of the Beat Generation would hang out. There were also many students on Beacon Hill where I lived, who would talk to me on their doorstep, or invite me in to have an audience for their poetry and philosophy. In the Summer when they would leave I would find their books in the trash and had an endless supply of evolutionary as well as revolutionary material to peruse.
At 11 years old my family moved to what I considered the country, a small city named Haverhill which was at one time the Shoe Capitol of the World, as they would proudly proclaim. To me it was the end of the world and I was introduced to and wondered about loneliness and separation.
I certainly did not fit in with others, as their world revolved around sports and it seemed they were all born with a removable baseball glove. For me baseball was at Fenway Park and a baseball bat was a weapon of defense. Oh well, it was not going to improve, as I realized that in school they were about a year behind what I was studying and that literature and poetry was not high on their list of subjects.
I understand that now, as they were the children of skilled and unskilled workers, who valued skills and abilities rather than intellectual ideology. Who wanted an education for their children but lived in a world where work ethic meant survival. The factory owner’s children were sent to private schools and if not, they had tutors which certainly kept them isolated from those of us on the streets.
Yes, I found home again on the streets where I gained some recognition for my street smarts. Yes, the Blackboard Jungle was real in my childhood Boston and I had joined a gang as junior member in order to receive protection. A complete dichotomy of self, created in order for survival
Having very few friends that could stimulate me intellectually and parents who had no concept of what was happening, set the stage, to have gone from Boston Latin High School aspirations, to Haverhill High School
expulsion in a short span of 5 years.
Back to the poetry…
At the age of 15 my writing was very bipolar, going from despair and angst to total frivolity and nonsense. Of course I also remember reading Ferlinghetti and Lennon back then as well. I have only let a few of these poems that still remain become visible to others, yet they remind me of my passion to express myself in words from the very beginning.
It is interesting that as we allow ourselves to be revealed to others, we also have to pull back the curtains of our own lives. That it creates all this Self Reflection and we can see ourselves in a new Light. Much like the York River in the picture accompanying this post, brilliant and ever-changing with the tides.