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Rakan AlDuaij, 2018

The Field

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there. — Rumi

When you asked me to meet you
I had no idea
how far that might be,
since I’ve been traveling in the dark
for some time now.
My night vision is poor
and there are no markers
where the road runs toward deep mystery.

I have walked in this valley
with its shadows
all my life,
seeing things slant, like your Emily Dickinson.
Because I was born by
a river of inherited sorrow,
I assumed I should follow it.
That it might lead me one day
up and out of the valley.

When I heard your song
out on the high plains,
your voice was so soft and sweet,
I nearly missed you,
nearly missed the strength
beneath the softness.

I never would have dreamed
Rumi meant a field in Colorado,
just over a stream and its bridge,
just off the road.
The mountains in the distance,
the clouds opening
to pour down
the sun’s last silver and gold.
The pale blue sky turning
to the indigo of evening.

It was your voice that brought me here,
that brought me home.
I knew, when I heard it,
how I should travel
and where I wanted to be.

Oscar Houck

I admire poets for their ability to see and arrange language poetically. I’m a prosaic thinker, myself, but I love the surprises and recognitions in a good poem, the feel of the language and how it points to a subtlety I hadn’t stopped to consider before. Time slows down in a poem. A good poem makes the room expand, it makes life feel more beautiful, more full of meaning. A gladness is born out of insight and language. It’s magic.

Writing, creating, is magic. Where there was nothing, a beautiful something appears by simple means. Imagination is the main ingredient. Craft without play and inspiration is a souffle that doesn’t rise. Like any creation, surprises are essential. Deep mind has to engage and contribute. Even with all the education in the world, nothing happens without passion. In the end it is the heart that speaks in poetry. Art is the language of the heart.

Some writers can make prose speak poetry. The other day I happen to read a Medium writer who fits that description — Ana-Maria Schweitzer. She’s an unusual writer for Medium in the unique way she uses language. Her short pieces mix whimsy with insight and an admirable feel for language. Her feel for just the right words in English is interesting to me because Romanian seems to be her first language.

Maybe that helps her feel the quality of each word in terms of look, sound and meaning. She has a talent for hitting the right nuance, for taking time to attend to the prism of experiences of the moment.

That’s what I think of as poetry. There’s a certain aura that poetry gives off, an unquantifiable shift in mindspace. She seems to accomplish that with ease.

Here are some examples of her work:

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Ana-Maria Schweitzer in Spiritual Tree

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Spiritual Weekly Prompt |Imagination

The Circle of Eyes

The Circle of Eyes — Spiritual Tree

Have a read. I think you’ll like her creations.


Anima Fire is my publication

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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