Guest poem submitted by Rachael Shaw:
(Poem #1855) The Ways We Touch
Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.
I have recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee - the home of country music. I was fortunate on my first night in town to see a rare performance by singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams and her father, poet Miller Williams called 'Poetry Said, Poetry Sung'. Miller Williams recited a poem and Lucinda picked a song to play that would fit the poem her dad had just read. His poems really spoke to me and I went to the library the following day to look for his work. On reading a few poems from 'Points of Departure' and 'Some Jazz a While', I was disappointed that the poems did not have such an impact on me as they did when they were spoken by Miller the night before. I fear this may happen with readers as well so I ask that you imagine an old, grey man of slight stature and big glasses, whose body rocks when he laughs and whose voice crackles when he talks ever so slowly. A man who knows of struggle and loss. At one point during the show Lucinda said "Takes me longer to say in a song what dad can do in a few lines." I think this is so very true. For me, 'The Ways We Touch' was made to be spoken. To experience Miller Williams, click on this videolink: [broken link] http://www.press.uillinois.edu/poetry/images/inaugural.mov. Miller was chosen to read a poem at Bill Clinton's innaugauration in 1997 ('Of History and Hope'). Rachael.