The word "read" derives from Dutch and German words for "advise" and "guess." "Read" connotes interpretation, as in reading riddles or dreams.
When we pay attention, we read faces, environmental cues, a baby's cries. We may be trained to interpret charts, animal behavior, symptoms, the smell of cake baking. We also read changes in the weather, changes in ourselves; we revise our opinions and question our perceptions as we read deeper into situations and circumstances. Attending to the world with a poetic mind means reading in multiple ways. We are all baleen whales filtering observations like krill; our observations feed us.
Prompt: What are you skilled at reading? Maybe you are skilled at reading documents, children's needs, your staff's conflicts, plants, cats, traffic patterns, music, poetry? Acknowledge that skill.
Dedicate ten minutes to reading the day or evening. Sit or take a walk, paying attention to patterns of landscape, sounds and the stories they tell. Note one thing that's new for you. How do you interpret that? Use that observation as a starting point for a poem. Or just enjoy having noticed and call it a day.
as thick as a wrist,
the salmon’s gray; the water’s hazy.
she’d fall to pieces in the middle
where scavengers excavated a hole.
of a tea rose whose curved petals
are falling in my friend’s front yard.
to Saturday sun – rows of treasure
she swam with, swam with for miles.
published in Peter Parasol