I remember the first poem I ever wrote was called "Autumn" and I was in the 7th grade. It was an assignment and it actually was Autumn, my favorite season. Unfortunately though, my teacher, Mrs. Turner, didn't believe I had written it. She accused me of copying it out of a book and I got an "F"; I was shocked, hurt and angry. So, when my mother asked me how my teacher liked the poem and I told her what had happened, she too was shocked and yes, angry. The next day she walked all the way to the school (since at that time we had only one car which my dad used for his job) just to set Mrs. Turner straight and my "F" turned into an "A". I was so happy and proud of my mother. She even told me it was actually a compliment for Mrs. Turner to think my little poem had been written by a professional. Well, then I did feel better and the "poetry seed" was planted.
After that incident was when my mother told me that we were actually related to George Gordon (Lord Byron), the famous English poet. She said he had a club foot just like one of my cousins. And, she even told me about my great-grandmother who had made a lot of money by selling some of Byron"s original handwritten poems. I had never heard of him but soon I learned all about him by reading a biography of Lord Bryon and through reading some of his poetry. That's when I fell in love with poetry for the first time. His love poems were so beautiful. To this day I remember: "She walks in beauty like the night" and "My life, I love thee" which I learned to say in Greek though I can't write it in Greek.
Well, years went by and I didn't write another poem because I was too busy writing reports etc. for my English and History classes in college. But then one day I was inspired to write a limerick about two dogs: one white dog and one black dog and the black was "addicted to a cigarette pack". It's funny that I still remember it. That was before I smoked. Now I'm the black dog, "addicted to a cigarette pack". By-the-way, you might like to read my poem, "Dope", here on poetrysoup.
So anyway...more years go by...a LOT of years! In fact, the "poetry seed" didn't really begin to grow until I was in my forties. I don't know why. All I can tell you is suddenly poems were coming to me like lightening bolts! I'd be doing something mundane and suddenly a poem would just sneak itself into my daydreams. Finally I realized that I wanted to write them down before they disappeared because that's what would happen if I didn't grab a pen and paper right away. That's when I started carrying a little notepad and pen with me everywhere I went so that whenever the inspiration came to me I'd be ready. Now, I just use the Memo App on my handy dandy cell phone. So much easier...and faster!
Then, I finally got a computer and I loved it. I had to teach myself how to use it but now I've got it. Eventually after playing on the computer for a while, I began to publish some of my poetry online at poetry.com and even enter some contests. It was so exhilarating to see some of my poems in print in some of their books too.
During that period of time I met a really nice guy from Oregon, my favorite state, and he was writing a book and he asked me to write a poem for the end of his book. It was a romance and took place in some snow-capped mountains somewhere mostly in the wintertime. "Beautiful!", I thought. Being a Southerner myself, I had rarely experienced snow (which I dearly love) and had never even seen snow-capped mountains. But, I had been ice-skating at a rink in Atlanta and I actually tried to snow-ski in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I loved ice-skating because it really came easy to me, unlike skiing. I had thought because I could water-ski that I surely could snow-ski. Wrong! I wound up "skiing" down a whole slope backwards! It was totally terrifying but at least I didn't fall! Ha!
Anyway, I agreed to write a poem for his book. I called it "Snowdancer" and it's about an ice-skater and is my second favorite poem to this day. I will put it on poetrysoup.com after I finish this "Bio". I am pretty proud of it since it was chosen to be the first poem on the first page in poetry.com's 2003 edition of "The Colors of Life".
My third favorite poem is called "Telepathy" and it was also published by poetry.com in their 2004 edition of "The International Who's Who of Poetry" and it too made first page.
Now you may be wondering what my number one favorite poem is. It is "Heaven" which is already here on poetrysoup and the reason it is my favorite is that I believe it actually came to me from God. It came out of the blue one day and I remember having to hurry to get a pen and paper to write it down. Also, it was the first poem I ever had published. Since then I've been fortunate to have quite a few poems published and I am now here on poetrysoup. I have written a lot of poems since those first days when the "poetry seed" was planted in me and I know my grandfather (also named Byron), who also wrote poetry, would be proud. And, I hope my mother, great-grandmother and ancestor, Lord Byron, would be too because it has become a great obsession now.
I would love to publish a book of poems now because I'm ready and I've been ready for quite a while but as usual the problem is always...money! Of course! But, that would be my dream come true and number one on my personal bucket list.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you will read some of my poems and leave some comments as well. By-the-way, I guess my style could be described as simple rhymes because I write for what I call "real" people who usually hate poetry and I am perpetually trying to convert them which I believe can be done but only with poems that are easily understood, not something so complicated that even I have to read it at least twice. Here is my philosophy in a nutshell: I write for the reader. If whoever reads my poems can't easily understand them, then I have not only wasted my time but their time as well. If someone reads one of my poems, understands it and likes it, then they are more apt to read more poetry and that's what I want. I want to plant the "poetry seed".