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Guest Poet: Beth Kephart

National Poetry Month is the perfect month for an author like Beth Kephart to launch her next book.  Her poetic prose reads like poetry, with each carefully selected word pregnant with meaning.  Readers of Kephart know that her writing is deep and meaningful, and that they must read her words with reverence.  This month, Beth Kephart and Chronicle Books launched Going Over, a young adult novel about 1983 Berlin and two families separated by the Berlin Wall, about taking risks, about love, and about inner strength.  Feel free to check out my review.

Today, Beth Kephart has come to celebrate National Poetry Month with us, and she’s going to share with us a never before seen or published poem about writing.

Portrait Gallery

My mind off its leash, I wander
The streets at night, after a storm.
Riffling scenes from ambered windows,
Incidents you could name paintings by:
Old Man in Plaid
Cat on Sill
Woman Loosening Auburn Braids
Boy Lit Blue by Fluorescence
And somewhere a catastrophe with a trash can
And a dog dragging its chain,
A guzzle in the drains,
While overhead the squirrels humiliate themselves
Among greasy limbs and leaves.  Save me
From my thoughts, I think.
Keep me innocent as a thief in the dark
Part of these washed-up streets.
Where it’s only the deer and the squirrels
And me, a dog dragging its chain.
You’re a little whacky, he’d said,
And I might have been exuberant
With the praise, might have stressed,
Myself to myself, that in the game
Of being me, I’d won, but who
Are we to measure our sanity by,
And who walks the streets in the dark
After a storm, looking for life
Through the lit-up glass
Of other people’s stories?

I want to thank Beth for sharing this poem with everyone this month, and I’d love to hear from you about what you think about the poem and what it means to you?