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THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO POEMS
by April Halprin Wayland
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Out beyond this small grey screen
is a field.
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I’ll meet you there.
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With two dogs,
no leashes,
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just to watch them race
in tiger-buttery circles,
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just to chase,
in the pasture.
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They find phrases hidden in this grass.
They find verses, songs‚ÄĒall¬†delicious.
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(c) 2011  April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
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The story behind the poem:
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This morning my friend Adell texted me part of a poem by Rumi. What a beautiful way to wake up! When I was casting around for poem ideas, what I really wanted to do was take Eli to the dog park, to watch him gallop with other dogs in those fabulous circles which remind me of my favorite part of the controversial children’s book¬†Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman:
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And the Tigers were very, very angry, but still they would not let go of each other’s tails. And they were so angry, that they ran round the tree, trying to eat each other up, and they ran faster and faster, till they were whirling round so fast that you couldn’t see their legs at all.¬†And they still ran faster and faster and faster, till they all just melted away, and there was nothing left but a great big pool of melted butter (or “ghi,” as it is called in India) round the foot of the tree.”
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I told myself that we could go to the dog park as soon as I’d finished this post. ¬†Here’s Rumi‘s poem, which I used as a jumping off point. ¬†I also referred to an online thesaurus to find as many words as I could with grassy “s” sounds.
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Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
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I’ll meet you there.
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When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
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Ideas, language
- even the phrase “each other” -
do not make any sense.
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From The Essential Rumi, page 16. Translated by Coleman Barks.
© Copyright, 2004, HarperSanFrancisco
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And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the dog park with Eli.


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