Each year, the Florida Writer’s Association publishes a collection of member’s writings inspired by a theme. This year’s theme was “Where does your Muse Live?”
I entered and was one of sixty selected out of hundreds of entrants for publication in this year’s book. The cover is at left, and the book will be launched at the Florida Writers Convention in October.
You get to see my entrant first! Here it is:
My muse resides in a gift box under my hat; that’s where it’s at. “Imagination” is her name. She begins to percolate and germinate ideas and rhymes that are released when one of the four following “keys” opens my box:
1. Observation. If one is going to be a great writer, artist, or speaker, one must become an observer of life and the world around him. When it gets dark, and coincidently, when we sit down for dinner, five toads gather on the window by the dining table to catch insects attracted by the light. We delight in watching them wait motionless, and suddenly jump to grab something. Toads on the window. That’s unusual. Maybe there’s a rhyme there. Rhyming is my fun gift.
Five toads on our window,
What did they do?
They tried to catch bugs and millers to chew.
And sometimes they caught a mosquito or two.
They joined us for dinner, and to have dinner too.
We watched them eat; did they watch us too?
Our time was up, and dinner was through,
We left the table, and the toads left too.
2. Visualization. Forming a mental image of things that cannot be seen seems to get my “imagination” working. After reading in the Bible about going to Heaven forever, I began wondering what would I do for eternity. What would I be happy doing forever?
They say that we’re going to Heaven,
With wonderful things there to see.
But what can we do for eternity?
What’s Heaven really going to be?
I know there’ll be sailboats in Heaven,
And a beautiful deep blue sea.
There’ll be bells to ring, and songs to sing
Because Heaven is made for me.
I’ll play my harp in Heaven,
And sing with the angels ‘neath the blue.
There’ll be music to play, and rhymes to say,
For God knows what I like to do.
My time in this world is not over.
There’s lots more to do and to see.
I don’t wonder or worry about Heaven,
Since I know God, and know He loves me.
3. Determination. I started a poem, and then couldn’t find a rhyming word to finish the stanza. Perhaps call it persistence, not inspiration, but there is work to change and search, to try different words, to change the other lines, and to work with other words until there is a rhyme. Sometimes inspiration comes under pressure, and is released by effort. My wife said, “Can you write a baby poem for our friends baby shower to go with her gift? I need it Saturday. That gives you two days.” Two days! “Imagination”, where are you?” It took some work, but I made the deadline!
A new baby on the way;
Wonderful news! Wonderful day!
Nine months wait will soon speed by,
And then you’ll hear that newborn cry.
Doesn’t matter girl or boy,
Either way it’s a joy!
New life is an awesome thing,
Your heavenly gift will come next spring!
4. Recollection. I remember when I was in high school, I would go to the country club on weekends to work as a caddy. A beginning caddy got $1.25 for carrying a bag for eight holes. The best part of working as a caddy was that at the end of the day, we could shoot a “round” of golf ourselves. I loved being on the golf course, and the challenge of the game!
There is no sport that I can name,
That lifts the spirit like this game.
I’m as happy as can be,
As I step up to the tee.
I smacked a drive, a perfect shot,
Straight away, right in the slot,
Right down the fairway — watch it roll,
To bounce right in, the waterhole.
I hit the ball right off the tee.
It flew so far, I couldn’t see.
When I found it, woe is me,
It’s sitting right behind a tree.
My favorite ball hooked in the rough.
Finding it is really tough.
I wonder what that dog is doing?
Hey! That’s my ball he’s chewing!
The greatest pleasure I have seen,
To watch a ball bounce on the green.
Then make a beeline for the pole,
And go right straight into the hole!
I feel my racing heart swell up.
When the ball drops in the cup.
What can a game of golf be worth?
A touch of Heaven on the earth.
“Imagination” lives in my gift box. I believe that God created my gift box, and put the gifts inside. Now I know exactly where my muses reside.