Naomi Shihab Nye Reading in the 2008 Dodge Poetry Festival Saturday Night Sampler – 9/27/08



please describe how you became a writer possibly I began writing as a refuge from our insulting first grade textbook come Jan come look dick look were there ever duller people in the world you had to tell them to look at things why weren't they looking to begin with fresh to move cleanly needing to be nowhere else wanting nothing from any store to lift something you already had and set it down in a new place awakened I seeing freshly what does that do to the old blood moving through its channels during a war best wishes to you and yours he closes the letter for a moment I can't fold it up again where does yours end dark eyes pleading what could we have done differently your family your community circle of Earth we did not want we tried to stop we were not heard by dark eyes who are dying now how easily they would have welcomed us in for coffee serving it in a simple room with a radiant rug your friends and wine truth serum for all the poet's here and everybody who worked on this festival and all of you very generous listeners and the truth you all carry truth serum we made it from the ground up corn in the old back pasture pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence popped it right in that frog song wanting nothing but echo we use that stirred it widely notice clouds while stirring called upon our ancients and their long slow eyes of summer dropped in their names added a mint leaf now and then to hearten the broth added a note of cheer and worry orange butterfly between claps of thunder perfect and once we had it had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup placing the pan on a back burner for keeping the sorrow lifted in small ways we boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared we washed that pan you

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