Free to Wander


IMG_2474 On Monday evening I offered a free poetry writing workshop at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Every quarter I do, always on an early Monday evening, never knowing in advance who will come. I was happy to see twenty-five people show up—familiar faces and new ones. We read a couple of W. S. Merwin’s poetry translations and a bit from Step into Nature along with a children’s book illustrating a single poem: I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail. We talked about memory and magic. The next workshop there will be of a different kind. On November 2, we’ll make collage art boxes, a make-and-take workshop. Come join us!


One participant, a man who’s attended a number of my events, Michael Keenan, who gifted me with a bag of oranges before saying goodnight, wrote this. I think you’ll want to read it. I know you will:

It used to happen all the time

when I was a young child,

that age which is the bookend of my memory.

Free wander to the trees, the lake,

the majority of my world in northern Illinois.

Alas, adulthood kidnapped me.

I escaped in California to discover

the same weave of energy inhabits the woods

and waters on this edge of the earth.

Michael Keenan