Cover image of book: How to Love the World. A black hand reaching to touch red and orange illustrated flowers.

Tomorrow is National Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day!

So much goes downhill: joints

wearing out with every mile,

the delicate folds of the eardrum

exhausted from years of listening.

I’m grateful for small victories.

The way the heart still beats time

in the cathedral of the ribs.

From “Improvement” by Danusha Laméris (published in The Sun)

The last time I was at Talking Leaves…Books on Elmwood, a slim novel jumped out of the delightfully crowded stacks and found its way into my hands. How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, edited by James Crews, is a wonder. It is a prescription for all kinds of days. That’s often how I think of poetry.

These are other ways I think of poetry:

Poetry is play. But it’s also more than that. Poetry is political. It’s words and thoughts and ideas. Poetry connects you to me and me to you. Poetry is our history and our future, too.

Poetry helps people say the things the have trouble saying. Poetry is the hard spots and soft spots, like the perfect chocolate chip cookie that has a crispy outside and a gooey, warm center. Poetry gets right to the heart of the matter. Poetry sees me, and poetry sees you.

I carry many poems in my heart, so it’ll be a hard choice to decide which to carry in my pocket tomorrow, April 29th 2022 for National Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day. Are you carrying any poems with you tomorrow?