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Finding beauty [poem: free bird]

July 24, 2010

I’ve been busy this week turning handwritten JulieBooks into less appealing, but easier to read and share, typed versions. I had lost track of how many pieces I’d written in the last year and a half and was surprised by the number of titles in the “poetry” folder on my laptop. But the fine-tuning, one of the hardest parts, is still to come. Thanks to everyone who’s shared their thoughts about the work I’ve posted so far. I promise to have a new work in progress for your review next week! If you want to join in and haven’t subscribed to the blog yet, just scroll to the bottom of the right-hand column.

In the meantime, I’m sitting in the shade of a lilac bush on a summer evening, sipping a mojito made with my first mint cutting of the season and recalling a California summer when I tried to teach a trio of Marines how to make mojitos and they tried to teach me how to repair an old Ford pickup. I think they learned their lesson better than I did mine. Even though I left unable to tell a crankshaft from a camshaft, the experience led to this piece:

free bird

Sometimes I feel I’ve failed
Lost my title of artist
of objective
Lost my ability to see
what sits under a mask
I feel I’ve failed
when I can’t see the beauty of
a few pieces of metal and rubber
stuck at a standstill
peeling in the sunlight
I don’t understand what is attractive
about seeing the pavement
through floorboards
I feel no need
to pull greasy parts from under the hood
or scuffle on my back behind a tire
I just want to move
smoothly and swiftly
curling up between your shoulder and the gear shift
cozy and close and free

—Julie Laing
© 1999

Hear this poem here.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 4:00 am

    And I share your sentiment, Julie!! Sometimes, all I need is a walk by the river, a glide maybe…
    Your poem felt so dreamy.. and yet so real!

    Loved it!


    • September 1, 2010 10:43 am

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the piece and the contrast of the dream and reality in it. Thanks!


  2. August 21, 2010 12:08 pm

    the deadline to vote for July poets is Sunday,
    thanks for the attention….

    Happy Saturday!
    u r nominated, thus u win one vote automatically,
    when u vote for other poets, u will obtain another vote for yourself…

    in case u want to add more….


  3. August 8, 2010 4:44 am

    sweet and raw, i love this 🙂


  4. July 30, 2010 6:29 am

    good job!! great imagination!! I enjoyed reading it


  5. July 27, 2010 6:45 pm

    I can relate.


  6. July 27, 2010 8:07 am

    it is only after we believe we have failed to see, that the fog begins to lift.

    very nice work.


  7. July 26, 2010 12:41 pm

    Nice work, you write well. Tidy blog too. Will be back I’m sure. Thanks for the visit — I must get some more up! I have a lot waiting in the wings…

    Warmest salad



  8. July 25, 2010 9:52 pm

    i like this one. good job.


  9. belladonna23 permalink
    July 25, 2010 6:51 pm

    i love this- and i cant tell you how many times i have thought such similar things. amazing piece


    • July 26, 2010 11:23 am

      Thanks for reading–I think that, as a poet, one of the greatest compliments is to hear people identify with your work.


  10. July 24, 2010 9:56 pm

    This was fun to read…like the attitude you have about such things. 😉


  11. July 24, 2010 8:33 pm

    Lovely. We all find beauty in different things, and I think you captured that beautifully.


  12. July 24, 2010 6:57 pm

    linked you in,

    wishing your dream coming true: curling up between your shoulder and the gear shift,
    cozy, and close, and free..



    • July 24, 2010 7:09 pm

      Thanks! And thanks for your work bringing poets together–your rally seems to be the gathering I was looking for by launching a blog.


  13. July 24, 2010 6:53 pm

    everyone loses sight at times,
    you expressed your feelings validly!



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