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Reflections and resolutions [poem: Inspiration]

January 14, 2011

Update: The Daily Inter Lake published this poem in its print version April 10, 2011, accompanying a story about the new poetry open-mic in Kalispell. You can read my post about the article here. And you can hear me read this poem at said open-mic in the second clip here.

I’ve never been one for resolutions at the new year, which Mark Twain famously called “a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.” But for some reason the latest calendar change prompted me to reflect on the past couple of years and the direction the coming months will take. Perhaps I was simply given time to do so in long car rides to and from holiday gatherings. Maybe it’s because the emotional and physical ups and downs of the last couple of years seem to have calmed to a more appealing, meandering path. Or it could be as simple as this: It was time.

One of the things I reflected upon was this blog. I started it in hopes of connecting with other poets, and I have been hugely successful in this. I also wanted a forum for feedback on work I hope to compile into a book. That idea, while still there, has lost its urgency. Some of the poems will be the better for the distance I am going to give them. Admitting that brought the realization that the events and emotions that inspired the pieces are just that: inspiration. In life, I’ve already moved on.

So as the new year begins, I send a huge “thank you” to everyone who’s shared their reactions to my poems and to those who shared their own work with me, bringing me new inspiration. In that vein:


creeps in
hides among cattails
prowls along the riverbank
waits to be noticed

jumps up
waves like the dog’s tail
begs feed me, pet me, come play
signals something must
be done

hangs on
prepares its offense
recruits the next word, image
until I reach for
the pen

—Julie Laing

44 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2011 11:40 pm

    Love this I feel my muse is much the same, I am like a little kid when I get inspired and a grumpy one I am interrupted mid thought


  2. April 14, 2011 10:42 pm

    It’s amazing Julie! Really interesting how we both meant the same thing but expressed our ‘inspiration’ in different words.
    Thanks for visiting me. Loved your poem!


    • April 17, 2011 8:31 am

      Thanks, Sau graam! I agree–great minds think alike, but creative ones put their own spin on it. 🙂 Thanks for coming over to read.


  3. January 31, 2011 2:57 am

    Hi Julie,

    Admiring your work here. Beautifully done. I will come back again whenever I have more time to digest all that is here. In the meantime –
    Best wishes from Brian in Scotland, UK.


    • March 4, 2011 9:21 am

      Brian, Thanks so much for reading! Sorry for the delay in a response; I’ve been out of town and haven’t been on top of the blog while I’ve been gone. A new piece is up now, though. Enjoy!


  4. Linn permalink
    January 21, 2011 11:11 pm

    Amazing poem! I really, really enjoyed reading it. The images you conveyed really suited the flimsy, elusive, almost playful nature of inspiration… Glad it came to you at last! 🙂


  5. January 21, 2011 5:58 am

    Great write! I love the flow of your series of images.


  6. January 18, 2011 9:01 pm

    I love this! Some days I can’t think for all the noise in my head, and others I sit and stare, wondering what I’m going to find to write about. I wish the little inspiration beasties were more predictable. I’m learning to tie them down when they appear, and squeeze out as much as I can before they escape. ;~)


    • January 18, 2011 11:50 am

      Thanks, Michael! I know exactly how you feel. Some of the inspiration for this piece was my Chesapeake-Weimaraner mix, who’s about the only thing I know to be more stubborn yet unpredictable than poetic ideas. Fabulous blog name, BTW. 🙂


  7. January 18, 2011 4:12 pm

    Happy Tuesday, return favor to those poets who are here yet you did not reach them initially…
    I am saying these to all poets, hope that you take it rationally…
    thanks for the support.


    • January 19, 2010 11:47 am

      Thanks Jingle–it’s usually my first move with the rally, but I appreciate that you’re sharing that idea with everyone! There were some fabulous pieces in this one. Enjoy your well deserved break!


  8. January 18, 2011 12:23 pm

    One of these days I’m gonna get me one of those riverbanks..


  9. January 18, 2011 11:11 am

    yes.. that is inspiration alright.. I especially loved that last verse.. I can relate to that last verse a lot, as I write, it is like each word comes in flow one after the other.. like I’m the interviewer and choose the interviewee words based on what suits my poem more 😀 lovely Rally.. my favorite so far!

    My Poet’s Rally – Myriad Is My Mind


  10. January 18, 2011 11:00 am

    lovely poem..


  11. January 16, 2011 7:18 pm

    Met you at the poetry slam at the Boiler Room last sunday and this sunday. i video taped it this time and wanted to let you know I’ll be putting the footage on my youtube page, and hopefully soon on the poetry club youtube page. If you would like the original footage of your set, let me know and I’ll get it to you. Just wanted to introduce myself again and say that I really enjoy your reading. I’m a computer geek, and down to help with whatever I can.


    • January 17, 2011 8:40 am

      Thanks Mat! I’d love the original footage to post on this blog at some point. I know I didn’t quite have the first piece nailed yesterday, but I think the other two came off pretty well. I’ll definitely look for it on your youtube.


  12. January 16, 2011 11:36 am

    hmmm best one thus far, I totally enjoyed this 🙂 Thank you!


    • January 17, 2011 8:37 am

      Thanks, lynnanima! Out of curiosity, do you mean this is the best you’ve read of my work or a favorite for what you read during this rally?


  13. January 15, 2011 1:59 pm

    This is really nice. A great flow. Am loving exploring your blog.


    • January 17, 2011 8:35 am

      Thanks, Becky! I’m happy to hear your checking out some of my other work as well. Thanks for reading!


  14. January 14, 2011 2:13 pm

    I like it.. a lot!


  15. January 14, 2011 12:21 pm

    Gr8 Thought …
    Take a look on my work
    A Poetry for the Nation ..
    !! Happy rally !!


    • January 15, 2011 11:13 am

      Thanks for reading–and passing on your link. I’ll be sure to check it out tomorrow when I have more time to do some rally reading.


  16. January 14, 2011 12:16 pm

    great poem! brought to mind an image of my dogs trying to get my attention! fun, playful poem.


    • January 15, 2011 11:14 am

      “Playful” is not a word I usually get to hear about my pieces, but I’m trying to branch out a bit with it. Thanks!


  17. magher1 permalink
    January 14, 2011 10:39 am

    I love it how you illustrated inspiration with your words! It totally appeals to me.


    • January 15, 2011 11:15 am

      I’m happy you enjoyed it. It was fun to take a word and play with all of the ideas that work behind it.


  18. Pseu permalink
    January 14, 2011 10:25 am

    Inspiration: lovely poem.
    Sadly mine often disappears as soon as I have access to a pen… especially the middle of the night inspiration!


    • January 15, 2011 11:16 am

      I know what you mean–there’ve been times when I’ve grabbed a pen to scrawl at 3 am and then woken the next day to find I couldn’t decipher most of it!


  19. January 14, 2011 10:07 am

    love it.

    i see the actions, they are validly demonstrable and what a profound piece.
    Happy Rally!


  20. January 14, 2011 9:49 am

    What a beautiful poem about inspiration…love it. I have found for myself that once a poem comes to me, i have to write it down or it bugs me to death. like its saying,”Okay, i’m taking up space now, so put me to paper”. i used to think i need a pen in my hand all the time, now its a keyboard. but hey, whatever works right?


    • January 15, 2011 11:28 am

      Exactly–I still find I prefer pen and paper to start getting the ideas down, but I’m increasingly refining pieces on the screen. Your comment about poems “bugging” you reminds me of some Tori Amos said about songs doing the same thing to her, distracting her from everything from cake to kisses. Thanks for reading!



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