As I was writing the poem, "Composite Color," crayons had gone through a metamorphosis. There were no longer the eight basic colors of my day. They were replaced by a sixty-four color box and a growing sensitivity to racial connotations. Society had become a melting pot of cautious consciousness and the simple became complex. This simple characteristic was the trigger that changed a box of crayons into stickmen of racial segregation.
From the poem:
“a mixing bowl with no sense of separation . . .
Crayola brands, ice cream stands,
playful minds, shaded hues of humanity.”
The love of poetry began more than forty years ago with the work of William Blake. Taking his advice . . . the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, I pursued reading, writing and living poetry. It seemed, suddenly, everything became not as ordinary as it appeared and I began a life sentence in a metaphoric mind.
Poetry can be history, emotion, experience, or exploration of the imagination. Poetry takes on many forms . . . individual forms. I’m often asked about my poetic form and reply, “My form is mine, nothing more, much like your footsteps are yours.”
In May 2015, I was designated Suffolk County Poet Laureate (2015-2017). In this role, priorities change. I put aside that unfinished manuscript and became an ambassador for the art. I now engage in more readings, discussions and presentations to raise community awareness, encouraging new voices and promoting opportunity for established voices . . . miles to go before I sleep.