ESCANABA - The drab mud brown
And the grey of old snow
Are tinged with purple and yellow,
Karen Wils photo
A ditch-full of marsh marigolds after an April shower.
When the hardy crocuses grow.
Springtime in Upper Michigan is pure poetry in action. So slowly, the snow and ice melts. They transform before our eyes from sharp shards of glass to gentle beads of water.
The excitement when we see open water on the lake or a chipmunk just out of hibernation often spills over into the words of a poem.
When a crocus flower is brave enough to bloom in the cold ground, it is powerful enough to inspire a poem.
April is National Poetry Month. Libraries all over the country have books by Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg and Maya Angelou out ready to tempt readers into the world of great poets.
But if you ask most people, "Who is your favorite poet?" they'd say, "I don't have one."
When teachers introduce a chapter on poetry, most of the students say "Yuck!"
Like it or not, poetry is all around us every day. The dictionary says that poetry is "an arrangement of words." And words are around us in this modern-day world from the time we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night.
Songs flow from the radio and the iPod. The lyrics of ballads, the rhythm of rap, and the words of Rock and Roll are all poetry (some to a more or lesser degree).
The Beatles wrote, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me," the unforgettable tune, "Let It Be."
Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" and "Born in the USA" are poems most people my age can recite with no trouble.
Prayers, too, are poems. They are arrangements of words that invoke peace, love and many blessings.
Poetry is thought-provoking and poetry is playful. Edgar Allan Poe's poems can leave you with your skin crawling. Shel Silverstein's whimsical poetry is a favorite of both kids and adults. They're sure to make you giggle and feel young.
The love of poetry is the love of words. Today we share our words in so many fast ways, live emails, text messages and over the cell phone. It is good to preserve the pretty words, slow them down, wrap them in emotion and douse them with creativity. And out pops a poem.
This is one of the first poems I ever wrote. It was written in the spring of 1977.
I Saw Time Pass Me By
I counted down the last minutes of winter,
And welcomed the warm spring sun.
The winter was slowly dying in my backyard.
I watched it die.
His great powers began to fade.
The north winds failed.
Flakes of snow transformed
Into beads of water.
To a land once decorated with icicles and frost,
Comes a promise of daisies and butterflies.
Karen (Rose)?Wils is a lifelong resident of North Escanaba. Her folksy columns are published weekly in Lifestyles.