Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I hope if nothing else comes of this blog that it will at least prompt those of you who do not have a system of regular writing, whether prose or poetry, to take a little extra time to notice what is happening around you. I mentioned before that you should carry something so you can jot a quick note, or get that handy voice recorder. I am, perhaps, too aware of what is going on in areas around me, so much so that my wife is getting scared to ride in the car with me. She says I pay too much attention to every bird within a quarter mile, or every little movement in the weeds. It is her way of saying that I should pay more attention to my driving.

Maybe I never outgrew the curious stages of my younger life. I do think that is something adults lose. It is natural to do so, as life becomes preoccupied with a different agenda, like making a living, raising a family and placing more intense concentration on a fewer number of things that we are really interested in. Then, when vacation time comes along, that special time for unwinding turns into a fury of hurry, hurry, hurry! I just try to do it a little along the way every day.

The last two posts are examples of a couple times where I took a minute to enjoy the smallness and ordinary that was in front of me. I always have a camera with me because I need it for my work, but my attention would have been scooped up without the camera being available. So, slow down, just a little bit, and be aware, take a mental note of something that you catch at the corner of your vision. Be curious. Then, write something brief about it.

Here is another example. A simple lunch with my wife at a Mexican restaurant in the small village of San Antonio, FL, produced all kinds of colors, sounds, aromas. I was still calm and sane enough after her telling me to pay attention to my driving, to and fro, to come up with this:

During the Drought
San Antonio, FL

San Antonio is sandy roads
lined by wiregrass and lantana
growing wild. Corona washes
down flautas floating in a habanero
sauce that melts the Florida sun.

A woman there wears a red top,
enters the world every day
through a painted gate to water
the beds. Her scooped neckline dips
as she talks to panting marigolds,
and I dream of finding doubloons
along a beach on the Spanish Main.

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