Welcome to Bearly Audible.
Poems on Purpose by Neil Reid
About Me. About You.
Home is California,
the far southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area, and one twenty-forth of a day away from Monterey. While I’ve a familiar fondness for the sensuous curves in brown and deeper green of the local hills, the summer scent of manzanita, it is the cool sea-salt breezes and fog of the Pacific shore that more inform where I’d like to be, and are at least continually close in mind for me.
First thing about cowboys is, yes, that’s me in the photograph. A clarity of vision, if not so deep yet easy to bend. A small town boy now in a modern world. Always busy with my hands, climbing things, building things, then drawing or painting for a time. Now it is words with pen and paper, still tactile, or the keyboard here.
Shyness. That’s what I became after the cowboy left. Egregiously shy perhaps, a crayon that colored my life for many years. Didn’t say enough, and lessons hard learned (what easy ones do we care about?) so now it is expression that I whole heartedly trust. And to a fault I’d rather fall.
Why write? Honestly, because someone asked me to. Simple as that. If you want to know more than that, you’ll have to ask. Writing, and poetry in particular, began more purposefully for me around 1996, so that’s how long for me.
A mentor of sorts, and about writing. Seldom had much taste for poetry until one day I noticed my disinterest was not about the medium, but rather what many had to say. Nothing ill meant by that, but you know the way you’ll choose one face across a room, and not another. William Stafford, (1914 – 1993), was his name, maybe the least known major American poet there is around. When I first saw him in an interview and conversation with a writing friend of his, I didn’t care what he did in life, but I was certain I wanted to know more of him. He wrote quiet yet deep poems of the landscape, a landscape that included us. So now I follow, partly in honor of a relationship that never was.
And if you are serious about writing, go read his books about the craft and life of writing, the Poets on Poetry books, listed on his page. Really really. No matter your personal taste, the gentle wisdom of his life can well instruct, encourage and soothe the challenge every writer will face. So do or don’t do, that’s your choice.
Write, don’t explain. Maybe I’ve already said too much, yet I want to be some more social and friendly here as well. And discussing the process of writing, well, I’m considerably less shy than once I was. However, poetry is my purpose here, not my commentary. I will allow what craft or ability or heart I have, to speak first and for itself.
Yes, you get to play. In fact, you already are. Granted, while I was simply and “only” asked to write, what merit, what fun is it to merely write into a hole with nothing shared? Minimal risk, yet neither any cake to eat. So here we are, both of us! Be welcome. You are.
You are welcome to read. You are welcome to simply say hello, let me know you were here. You are welcome to comment and share what you will. You are appreciated, no matter your path. But there is some “fine print” I’d encourage you to consider.
I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten the source, but whoever, wherever you are, my most sincere thanks. It is easy just to look or read and then walk away. Maybe you think you have nothing to say? Say hello. We are people here. We like, we live, for connection. Maybe you think you don’t understand? Say that. So what? If you knew everything, you’d already be God. Maybe you don’t want to risk looking foolish? Again, so what? And just how do you think I feel? Here’s my big toe. Wanna play in the mud with me? You’re welcome to. Reasons abound enough to stop anything and everything!
I invite your unreasonableness.
Allow silence to be intentional, purposeful when it suits, but please, not accidental, coincidental nor your voice reasoned away. What we mostly miss not participating, expressing, is ourselves. I’d like you to have that more social and welcome sense of yourself. I’d welcome the opportunity to express my appreciation for you. Simple enough?
Neil Reid (email address)