Poem 3, June 3


The Wisdom of Jim Wayne Miller


Good poetry will deal with ordinary things…

and still manage to evoke a sense of wonder,

of the miraculous.


To disagree, I would be blasphemous

to Jim, to clear pools wherein tourists blunder,

to poetry from which the reader comes up shivering.


These spring days I carry images of mountains,

of Old Seventy Creek, cold & clear,

of packsaddle stings in corn rows.


I have an image of Jim, walking behind cows

around a hillside path cut deep, a near

way, a crow’s flight, unfettered by mountains.


I hear Jim’s voice from the past:

I travel everywhere on native ground.

I have been so often blessed.


I want to throw a shadow into life, to go wild in the best

of Appalachian ways, to sit on common ground

without having to be asked.


I want to idle on the bank of Hay Creek & write

where thoughts swarm like shoaling redhorse

& become a poem, its dorsal fin splitting water.