Today I am grateful for brief yet meaningful encounters.
Three years ago, I ordered a signed copy of Pat Schneider’s Another River: New and Collected Poems (2005) via her website. When it arrived, I was surprised to find a note from Pat with a gift copy of her chapbook, The Patience of Ordinary Things (2003).
I fell in love with the title poem, and was honored when Pat gave me permission to share it here. Though we only exchanged a few emails, I was touched by her kindness and generosity, totally in awe of the 83-year-old poet, author, playwright, teacher, and Founder/Director of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA).
At the time, Pat’s poetry was new to me, and I knew little about her early years in Missouri, where, as the child of a single mother, she lived in tenements and an orphanage until she received a scholarship to attend college. “Those early experiences deeply influenced her writing and fueled her passion for those who have been denied voice through poverty and other misfortunes.”
Recently, while looking for more poems to share for Poetry Friday, I thought again about Pat and visited her website, where I was saddened to learn of her passing in August 2020. I read many tributes, listened to her reading her poems, and watched several interviews, awestruck not only by her professional accomplishments, but her abiding faith in human potential and creative genius, as she encouraged all to find and amplify their authentic voices.
I love hearing hers.
THE MOON. TEN TIMES by Pat Schneider 1. Round cool face of forever float free for me 2. Saucer without a teacup without the tyranny of of tea 3. Owl eye without a pupil blind to contradiction 4. My white balloon has lost its string and me 5. Round, open mouth of the goddess of light 6. The night sky's exclamation: Oh! 7. Puppeteer of tides rock the shore of the world 8. Bright frisbee the dog star lost in the night 9. Perfect pearl crown of cornfields and night watchmen's hair 10. Bellybutton of God ~ from The Patience of Ordinary Things (Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 2003)Continue reading