During my two years as Poet Laureate I encountered many quizzical looks when people heard of my role, which ends this month.
"What is a laureate?" they asked.
In ancient times, leaves from a bay laurel tree were woven into a wreath to identify "laureate" people who did something unique. In this city alive with the fine arts and theater, I didn't make any fashion statements with laurel leaves, but I did set a goal: To inspire people to enjoy the literary arts. Many accompanied me on this journey.
Prose Poem for Poetry Partners
That Marilyn Slade co-led the Poetry on Main group with humor and cupcakes; that Liz Fortini, costumed up for two BOO-etry Halloween programs and lead "Poetry Rocks"; that LaDonna Fehlberg led me to a well of creative inspiration; that David Alpaugh become Robert Frost for one wintry afternoon; that Fred Norman challenged me to think and write; that Robert Eastwood grandly hosted the "The Literary Evening;" that the Livermore and Dublin poets laureate current and emerita, Jannie Dresser, Ronna Leon, Teresa LeYung Ryan and many others spread the word; that the Teen Poets Laureates inspired the youth; that Sandra Harrison Kay, stepped up at "Laugh Out Loud"; that Librarian Sandy Silva and Sherry Smith sparked the kids into poetry; that Jerry Ball taught haiku and Connie Post shared "how to get published"; that Vivienne Chen set up chairs and read at my first program and at the last, the full-on Teen Poetry Blitz; that Dave Wright served as literary catalyst; that teens Arany Uthayakumar and Kelly McDeavitt were always ready to read; that Michelle Russo of the city's Community Services Department energized every word, every program; that all who listened and laughed and learned with us remember the gifted people in this poem.
Summer knocks at the door
hands ripe peaches, poems
savor, turn the page.