Saturday, September 22, 2018


I Am A Poet, And These Are My Ideas.

By: Donovan Baldwin

I am a poet, or so I claim to be.

Have the "creds", as they say.

Never said I was a "good" poet... and, don't really care if I am.

I am a poet.

I see, hear, feel things coming from everywhere, forcing themselves into my perception and then back out of me as words, images, feelings which the reader may or may not "get". It was born within me as a poem and came out of me a poem. How others perceive it is beyond my control.

So, about these ideas which sometimes are transmuted into poems within my mind, heart, soul, body, and, yes, there IS a visceral, corporeal component... where do they come from?


I can see a dog or a flower or a discarded beer can by the side of the road and get an idea. I can hear a sad song, a happy song, or a boring tedious song, read a passage in a book, follow some meandering path of thought within my mind, or overhear someone else's conversation and get an idea.

Sometimes, I respond, in my poem, sometimes in broken patches of poems, to the comments of someone who wasn't even speaking to me.

Sometimes, I like the way someone thinks, or expresses themselves SO MUCH, that I have an imaginary one-sided conversation with them... and they never know.

So, for your sake, unless you want to become part of a poem and never know it, be careful what you say... although I'd rather you didn't... for my sake.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018


Poem: Alone Within Her Room... She Dances...

By: Donovan Baldwin

Alone within her room
And within herself,
She dances with abandon,
Giving herself completely,
To the music thundering,
Through her mind and body,
Dropping all her veils,
One by one, until...
She is all, everything,
Wishing he could watch,
She could show,
They could share.
Wishing she could dare,
As she dances...
Alone within her room.

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Monday, September 10, 2018


Measure Twice, Cut Once

By: Donovan Baldwin

There's an old carpenter's adage, "Measure twice, cut once." In other words, don't just lay the tape out, assume that what you saw, or thought you saw (no pun intended - well, maybe a little), was correct.

It's worth checking what you're about to do before doing it so that you don't have to regret afterwards.

You can't add back that extra inch or centimeter you accidentally cut off because you got the first measurement wrong.

You cannot always reclaim a relationship, your personal pride or self-esteem, or restore someone else's, once you've whacked it off at the wrong point... or for the wrong reason.

Oh, sure, in the real world, we often have to do things "on the fly", or, simply, being the messy, imperfect humans that we sometimes are, go with our first reaction, and, to steal a thought, regret at leisure. Still, there are times when taking a second look, doing a reassessment of the situation, and, our intended response, IS possible.

Might be worth the effort.

You might discover that your first reaction is sometimes a little "off". After all, "heat" CAN make things change size, or look hazy, temporarily.

Might want to re-measure when everything's cooled down. Or, just apologize. That sometimes DOES put that extra inch or centimeter back on.


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Sunday, September 09, 2018


Someone Called Me "Ethereal". Hmmmmm.

By: Donovan Baldwin

Someone used the word "ethereal" about me recently.


Oh, I CAN do "ethereal", and, often, I have sweepingly poetic and romantic moments that DO take me to faraway lands not yet conceived by man. However, I'm actually, despite the poetic, romantic, and, admission here, sometimes erotic, side, I'm essentially a down to earth kind of guy.

Yet while living on the surface of the big blue ball, and aware of its sometimes unpleasant, even dangerous, realities, and, dealing with my own many daily obligations, as a caregiver for disabled family members, my mind DOES take flight from time to time, and wanders around some made up universe, usually based, at least loosely, on this one... but, populated with the people I want to be there and decorated in the manner I choose.

Often, despite usually being stuck on the second floor of my daughter's home in Texas with a view of only a portion of the street below, I am able, in my mind, to find myself in a whitewashed Mediterranean villa, overlooking the sea, surrounded by colorful flowers, serenaded by birdsong and breeze, amid beautiful art, including lots of Greek statuary, writing thoughts and poetry, as I sip coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, with my one true love nearby.

Me? Ethereal?

Yeah! I guess so.

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Saturday, September 08, 2018


Writing Poetry, Which Is What I REALLY Enjoy Doing, Means...

By: Donovan Baldwin

Writing poetry, which is what I really enjoy doing, means, among a lot of other quasi creative stuff, putting yourself in some place that may or may not exist, experiencing some events and situations which I made up myself, or stole from someone else, and then, trying to say it in some way that somebody, who doesn't think a bit like I do, can understand... somehow.

Sometimes I write it down. Sometimes I say it... out loud, to myself, to a wall, a dog, or simply trees, birds, ponds, whatever, which may be around me... or which I may even be imaging.

I write things down and read back over them, write them again, and maybe again, and then... Hell, I don't know... lots of different stuff.

I say things, and then repeat them, changing them as I go ... or, if it rings true, or, I simply cannot figure out another way to say it, or another thing to say ... leaving it to ferment or fester ... until it becomes something which I can do something with ... in ten minutes, tomorrow, or a few years from now, BUT, it never disappears entirely, just sinks beneath the waves of thought, floats in a sea of paper, and surfaces ... or not ... to be worked and reworked again ... or not ... I never know.

People encountering me at odd moments could assume me to be afflicted with the necessity to write and say things that make no sense ... to them, and, perhaps, even to me.

They may be right, or, I may just be trying out my poet disguise. I work on the premise that if I act strange enough, and write enough, enough of it will seem other worldly and ethereal enough that others will start calling me "poet", and then I can quit saying it myself... to myself.

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Friday, September 07, 2018


Poem: Lets Get Physical

By: Donovan Baldwin

In my blood cholesterol rages,
Causing geometric increase of my ages,
Measured by official cholesterol gauges.

I try to dissuade, disavow, and distract,
But the doctor restates with so little tact,
My health's in danger - and that's a fact.

So, I turn to food most decidedly lean,
Although this fare will turn me mean,
I suppose I can eat it, as long as it's green.

But, some night when I've had all the greens I can take,
And, the whole world's asleep, yet, I'm still awake,
I'll dine in the moonlight... on a blood red steak.

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Thursday, September 06, 2018


Herman Melville began Moby Dick with, "Call me Ishmael."

By: Donovan Baldwin

Herman Melville began Moby Dick with, "Call me Ishmael." Not to be outdone, I often begin some of my comments with, "I call myself a poet."

I have earned my "creds" as they say. Never claimed to be a "good" poet, but I do write stuff that others have recognized as, and acknowledged to be, poetry. Even had a few of my poems published back when paper was king.

You might say, BC = Before Computers. The dark ages of our modern era.

Anyway, in addition to having written poems and articles which others may or may not see, or have seen; a myriad of thoughts and images, snippets of originality, inspired by damn near anything (once wrote a poem about a tuna sandwich), flow through my mind, often aching to come out as something on paper or computer screen.

Still, with all that to work with, ninety percent of what is running through my scattered mind doesn't find any outlet, and runs off into the woods of my thoughts, and, although I may hear some laughter or squeals or giggles, or sobbing, from the departed ideas somewhere off in the woods, I am left to wonder who or what those strange creatures were ... beautiful and exciting, gloomy and brooding, bland and insufficient to maintain existence.

I was reading Hazlitt (William) last night and, in one of his beautifully crafted essays which rolls off the tongue of my mind, once one becomes an artist, it's all about art. It's in everything they see and think about.

Poets are like that too, I believe. And, like the artist, you never see some of their/our best work... sometimes only practice pieces... set down to keep our hand in.

Beware of brooding poets but remain calm. The gloom you often see upon them has nothing to do with you, but, with the creatures romping through their minds,disappearing into darkness and forgotten before they can leave a trace of their ephemeral existence.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018


The Curse of the Poet

By: Donovan Baldwin

In an essay on the pleasure of painting, William Hazlitt says, "The painter not only takes a delight in nature, he has a new and exquisite source of pleasure opened to him in the study and contemplation of works of art..." and goes on to give an example of a painter spending a pleasant time contemplating not only art, but, life, nature, and the world about.

Much the same happens to the poet.

While each of us so afflicted react in our own particular and special way, I feel fairly sure that we are much the same in that we never look again at even the smallest piece of trash or the most spectacular display of nature the same way.

Commonplace things lose their commonality and, instead become causes of cantos. Wondering and wandering becomes a way of life with the goal being the coming of the words which, like the statue within the stone, revealed by the blows of the sculptor, will be pulled forth into this world and made to represent more than what the dictionary ever intended.

The poet is condemned to evermore find a poem in everything, much to the dismay and dismissal of most of the rest of the world.

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Monday, September 03, 2018


In Defense Of Our Real Treasure... Humans As They Are.

By: Donovan Baldwin

I'm always wary of absolutes... okay, usually, almost, probably.

Still, my radar comes on when I see statements like, "Do this to get rich, happy, taller..." whatever. Usually involves chocolate, wine, or cabbage soup.

While we do share many common traits and feelings... desires, even lusts, we humans are just too unique for a "one size fits all" approach to most life situations and relationships.

Another one that makes me start looking for the exit, is, "________(fill in the blank with a group) like, want, expect, deserve...." etc.

In my 73 years, I've met too many people that simply do not fit into a mold prepared for them by pundits and politicians (and become my own odd little self in the process).

From soup to nuts, health to wealth, sexual preferences, religious teachings, personal trials and tribulations, internal and external scars, and glorious glowing of transcendent souls, we ARE different.

Until we accept THAT as the ultimate commonality among us, and learn to live WITH it, rather than trying to figure out how to get around it, fight it, or just plain argue about it, life's not going to be nearly the rewarding and enriching experience it could be... because people who can accept US the way each messy little, "spilling out of the box" individual of us is, ARE to be treasured.

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