Have you ever been tapped on the shoulder
by a Muse, dragged by your hair
to pen and paper?
What about old-fashioned Inspiration —
and leaving those other jottings
to the trash bin of the mind?
Teaching writing? Wouldn’t it be better
for everyone to read? Aren’t there
too many poems already
nobody wants to hear? Wouldn’t
it be kinder to serve hot soup
to somebody hungry?
Inspiration, what’s that anyway?
Where does it come from? Some goddess
you haven’t met yet?
Instead of trumped-up tricks, why not
get out on the road and just keep walking
until you meet Her.
[From poet Janine Canan have come the award-winning collections Messages from Amma: In the Language of the Heart and She Rises like the Sun: Invocations of the Goddess by Contemporary American Women Poets; translations of the French poet Francis Jammes and German-Jewish poet Else Lasker-Schueler; two illustrated storybooks, Journeys with Justineand Walk Now in Beauty: The Legend of Changing Woman; her collected essays,Goddesses Goddesses; and many books of poetry including Ardor: Poems of Life,Changing Woman, a Small Press Review selection, and Of Your Seed, recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
Janine lives in California’s Valley of the Moon, where she is a practitioner of holistic psychiatry, graduate of New York University School of Medicine and Stanford cum laude, and a follower of the Indian saint and humanitarian Mata Amritanandamayi. Please visit her site for more information.]