I’d like to encourage you, dear readers and writers, to consider dabbling in poetry.

Poetry offers you a way to express your inner thoughts, feelings and ideas in a simple, concentrated way. You can choose to rhyme or write in free verse. You can say outlandish things, and make comparisons that are elegant, funny or strange. As I mentioned in an earlier article, you can even write poems as a tribute to a loved one.

I think writing poetry is a lot less intimidating than writing a story. You can face the blank page with a smile because a poem doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t need complex characters, an intriguing plot or a cliff-hanger ending. A poem can be whatever you want it to be… and be done within a few minutes!

You can design words on the page. You don’t have to use capital letters. And you can leave space for contemplation. You Can EvEn Do SilLy STuFF! (If you want…)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to jot down thoughts and feelings into poetry. The following poem, “you and i” was written in tribute to one of my dearest highschool friends, Nancy Slawin Kalita. We used to have sleepovers at each other’s homes, wake up at dawn, and then ride our bikes on wonderful adventures together.

As the years passed, Nancy and I stayed in touch. Unfortunately, on November 1st, 2004, Nancy passed away suddenly from an unexpected heart attack. But her spirit — with her magical laughter — will always stay with me. Here’s a snapshot from our days together…

you and i

I met you on a cold rainy day

When the wind was howling

And the pavement was wet.

Somehow it didn’t matter.

We found a dry spot under the trees

 And then the sun stopped crying.

You had your lunch and I had mine

And we shared.

We found an old bicycle built for two

And we rode right into the middle of town

                                                 Singing out loud.

We laughed a lot and a lot,

                You and I,

                  I and you,

And we couldn’t stop smiling.

I showed you my secret hiding place

  And gave you a lucky penny

              Fresh from the ground.

We bought ice cream cones

     And had a running race.

         You won and I was happy.

And that was our first day together.