In rhyming, timing is everything.
Rhymes in wrong places make awkward spaces.
A rhyme in rhyming knows more than prose.
Rhymes are the rings you hear in the mind’s ear.
Nature’s rhymes are free: As you shall see,
My rhyme’s beginnings are paid in endings.


Excerpts from “Bones of Earth”

God held we pebbles
__Within his giant hand,
Threw us into nothingness
__And then time began,

Like the turning of a watch,
__By the spinning of the gears;
Each point upon the measurement
__The moment of a year.

See, I hold the poet
__Like the poet holds the pen;
He writes a letter,
__I write his death.

Who writes the better
__Of life and tragedy;
He who writes a story,
__Or I who write he?

Fleas on the paper,
__Fleas on the skin,
Fleas on the eyelids
__Cannot see within.

I hold the wisdom,
__I hold the keys,
I hold the answer
__Eyes cannot see.

Flying through forever
__On a point in space,
I the bones of earth
__That form the human race.

Silly little creature;
__Part God, part man, part me;
Born from part of nothing
__Into eternity.

I am the warm spring breezes
__Sighing as I blow;
I am the warm spring breezes
__Chasing out the cold.

I am the apple blossom
__Flowering in white;
I am the apple blossom
__Reborn in winter’s night.

I am the valley grasses
__Growing lush and green;
I am the valley grasses
__Hopeful, new, and clean.

I am the purple crocus
__Rising through the snow;
I am the purple crocus,
__From winter’s death I grow.

I am the robin’s music,
__Joyfully I sing;
I am the robin’s music,
__Herald of the spring.


All of the above originally published in The Life of Trees.

Michael Curtis has 40 years of experience in architecture, sculpture, and painting. He has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums including The Institute of Classical Architecture, The National Gallery of Art, et cetera. His pictures and statues are housed in over 400 private and public collections including The Library of Congress, The Supreme Court, et alibi; his verse has been published in over 20 journals. Mr. Curtis consults on scholarly, cultural, and artistic projects, currently: Curator, Plinth & Portal; Co-Director, The Anacostia Project; Vice-President, Liberty Fund, D.C.; Lead Designer on the 58 square mile city of AEGEA.

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2 Responses

  1. Sultana Raza

    Excerpts from “Bones of Earth” has it’s own rhythm, and the ideas are quite interesting. Am wondering who the ‘I’ character in Stanza VIII is. Traditionally, it’s the Muses who make the poet, and they were much older than the Olympians. But I have a hunch that this poem doesn’t refer to them… Would be nice if you could comment on my idea. Thanks, Sultana

  2. Michael Curtis

    Before the making of a poet is the making of its bones; yes, the Muses may inspire that flesh upon the stone, yet, here is the long-view from time-out-of-mind, magma, granite, calcium carbonate and little else. In these questions of the Muse, I am reminded of a friend, an obscure painter, a classicist of Dionysian origin, a genius, I am sure, who insisted that his Muse was a wizened, grumpy old-man. Wishing you rhyme and meter and pleasure, sincerely.


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