Poet's Notebook: My poem, "From the land of giants" followed by a reflection
Reflection: When I woke up this morning I was already tired, kind of headachy, weary. I forgot it was my birthday until my wife, Shirley reminded me. 66 years. Ye-gads, how did I live that long? I’m doing OK though. Life is pretty good, considering. I don’t think the world is doing very well however, and that tends to get me down. I decided to address this in a poem. What’s wrong with the world is huge. It’s almost as we’re living in a land of giants where the giants are running amok. This was an odd poem. I wrote a few stanzas without having the slightest clue where it was going. Giant Land? I’ve been reading a book of poetry by Gary Lawless, Caribou Planet. He plays with scale a lot . . . He depicts the animals and the spirits of the animals as larger than life while dramatizing the relative smallness of humanity. Truly, we’re not as important as we think, except as spoilers in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes I feel like a giant when I am with my cats and I try to be a kind and gentle giant. But out in the world I see huge damage being wrought by enormous powers (in the form of corporations, governments, runaway capitalism, consumerism) but whatever you call them they are essentially monstrous spirits of violence and greed. I personified them, gave them names. I also thought of my mother and how she raised me to love and honor life. I guess she also raised me to stand up to giants, and the poem became an invitation for all of us to become giant slayers. That very early memory of my mother in the garden has come up before but this is the first time I’ve put it into a poem.