3 Poems from Paul

 

If you ever want to have an interesting conversation, learn about something before the rest of the world does, play a fascinating board/card/video game or get excellent feedback on your writing, you should call my brother Paul Bills. Paul is one of those people that's actually a sponge. He soaks up everything which makes him one of the most intriguing and intelligent people I know.  

Paul has also played a big role in my appreciation and love of poetry. He introduced me to many of the poets and poems I like today. And since April is National Poetry Month I want to continue to share some poetry themed posts with you. I asked Paul if he would like to share some of his work here and I'm excited to present three of his pieces to you. Enjoy!



 

Easy access to I-15

"And easy access to I-15!"
Winked the radio this afternoon.
And I thought how they had it all wrong.

Why would I buy a home
That's easy to escape?
Just put a box in the street.

Instead, I wish it could say,
"Here's one that's hard to find
And takes a while to get to.

Here's one that wasn't built
In one day by no one,
But by a peacock and an owl

Who had dreams and raised them.
Here's one with rooms of different ages
Added in proportion and time with their love.

Here's one that will keep you,
Grapple your soul with hoops of steel.
Here’s one you'll ache for

Miles after its doors do finally open
Upon whatever road is right
And will bring you back often."

But that kind of home isn't sold,
Only its seeds collected
As they're dropped by the peacock-owls

Leading the way toward the sun.

 

For You

My wife loves haiku,
they're her favorite poetry.
So have haiku, dear.

I love you like sleep:
The best part of our day
that gets us through nights.

 Like frozen pizza:
Sure, maybe it’s not gourmet,
but it makes this home.

Like Psych, Monk, Robin
Hood: our Netflix friends we bring
to every dinner.

Like Squire, Knight, Lady:
The book I picked up for school
but kept for true love.

I love you like hair:
Yours gets everywhere like sand—
marriage's bread crumbs.

I love you like love:
After all the confusion,
You, my dear, made sense.

 

For Dad

I read a book you owned once,
I think as I underline yet another poem,
Where the lines you drew were fantastically straight.

I revered those straight lines you drew,
Wondered at them like magic,
For I have yet to draw any line so straight.

A minute takes me as I imagine some younger you
Dutifully lifting the ruler you later told me you kept there
To make those magnificently straight lines. 

That ruler, those lines, are you, I conclude.
Are the life you've always lived.
Straight, narrow, iron--lines never wavering: you.

Those lines are the lesson you've always taught me
That you don't need to break the world to change it,
Just make your mark as well as you can. Be good.

Those lines, I'm trying to say, continue on beyond those pages.
To heaven, where they point me;
To the space between the heart of the child and the father.

Thank you, Dad, for those lines;
For all the lines you've drawn,
For every time you held that ruler like a rod.

You are the straight line
That all my wobbly scratches
Are stumbling to follow.


Big thanks to Paul for sharing these insightful and personal poems. I hope you enjoyed them like I did. "marriage crumbs," "grabble your soul with hoops of steel," cool stuff. 

If you want to send Paul some nice words or questions or have a favorite poet you think we should know about, please share in the comments.

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