If you've never felt that special rush of joy-and-power-in-creation via your own special talent, I encourage you to continue to seek the experience. Everyone possesses some unique quirk, some means of artistry – whether it be aesthetic, mechanical, interpersonal, scientific, domestic, intellectual spiritual. Harnessing this power for your own pleasure is one of the greatest of life's accomplishments. It provides focus and energy and sustenance in a life so often burdened with inevitable trauma and tragedy.

True, it would be great to have a talent that is easily visible and richly rewarded because it brings so much pleasure to so many other people, but most of us will remain biggish fish in smallish ponds – if we're lucky enough to achieve THAT much!

That's OK! I, for one, am willing to settle for the thrill of keeping me and my friends entertained and enlivened. And the more I've exercised my modest talent, the more friends I have encountered. It's as if an audience is creating itself while I struggle to bring forth my words, offering me the opportunity and privilege of further sustaining it, which, in turn, enhances my own efforts and rewards! It's actually kind of mystical, this co-evolution of audience, message, messenger . . . quite mystical!

When I coined the title Friends of Poetry I was stretching things. There was actually only one other 'Friend' backing my efforts, my then new friend, Eugene Chovanes, who was willing to help me get my first public hearing at the Bala Cynwyd Library in December 2004. I remain forever in his debt for this generous deed. Over the past two years I have learned that although Eugene is a patent attorney by profession, he has the heart and soul of an artist. His spirit dances! Here's one of Eugene's poems, written about his beloved father, a coal miner in Hazleton, PA

Anthracite coal

Pop mined you in the dark

He saved the sunshine for me

So many of us owe our "sunshine" to others who labored "in the dark." May we honor our debts by making it our life goal to spread the light in whatever way we can.



Errors or omissions? Please contact me, Arlene Bernstein, at: ferndeblanc@comcast.net

Copyright © 2006, Friends of Poetry, All Rights Reserved