Today, Ash Wednesday, is a solemn day that calls for distraction from frivolous distractions, you might say.
Entertainment cultures shun solemnity. Ash Wednesday interrupts our flight from the knowledge of our mortality: “You are dust and to dust you shall return.”
Steve Shoemaker, seen here welcoming President Clinton to Champaign-Urbana, shared a poem that leads me a decision Ash Wednesday: plagiarize or leave the page (Views from the Edge) blank?
I HAVE NOTHING
I have nothing…
no thoughts, no ideas
Worse, only clichés
crowd my mind:
or remembered words
wielded by real writers.
Feeling only frustration,
tempted by alliteration,
or worse, rhyme…
Is it worse to plagiarize
than to leave a blank page?
— Steve Shoemaker, Feb. 6, 2013
In memory and thanksgiving for Steve’s faithful solemnity and smile,
Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020
— “Morning Mist Over the Creek” by Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL Feb. 6, 2013
Steve Shoemaker (RIP) was the Views from the Edge colleague whose verses and poems, written in the middle of the night, were sent to “his publisher” from his iPhone before dawn. Five of Steve’s verses/poems are republished in Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness. At six-feet eight inches, he towered above the crowd. In this photo, his 6’8″ frame rests on a 1,000+ year-old Bristlecone Pine above the tree line. – GCS
“Poetry is the impish attempt to paint the color of the wind.” –Maxwell Bodenheim, quoted in Ben Hecht’s play Winkelberg (1958).