Friday, May 19, 2017

Meet Michael Parker of Hinterland Chapter

Michael Parker’s life has been circling around poetry since he was in 8th grade. His English teacher gave an assignment to write two haikus and a free verse poem for a project. After that, Michael began tinkering with rhythm, meter, and structure, even though he tended to favor free verse. In high school, he  placed second in the annual poetry contest. In 2006, he was invited to join an online poetry community with poets all over the United States. By the time the poetry group disbanded, Michael was confident in his skills to write and submit works of poetry. 

In 2013, Michael joined the UTSPS Write On Chapter lead by Cindy Bechtold which helped teach him to develop and grow more as a poet. In honor of the teachers, mentors, and friends he's gained along this journey, he wants to share a quote from one of his poet-mothers, Annie Finch. In her poem dedicated to Emily Dickinson, she writes: “I take from you, as you take me apart.” Michael says..."I, too, feel this way about those who I have taken from. I continue to hold a piece of each of you in my heart; you are part of my experience and your influence is in my work. For that, I’m infinitely grateful. I look forward to the next roads ahead."  Michael has joined our new online group Hinterland Poets organized by Margaret Pettis.           

grow roots like the oak
plant your roots in that place you know ―
the making of the singular morning
the flurry of life under the sun's long road
or the sorrow in the passing and letting go
of that beloved day you will never see again

I like to believe that you would stretch yourself wider
feel the things you most desire ―
the soul of the spirited breeze
the rage of the temerarious storm
the curling 'round the circumference
of the robin's newly inhabited nest

if you want to imbue the serenity of the stars
then imagine radiating clear light 

if it is a harvest you are yearning to be
then by all means be a bounteous tree

there is something alive when I say this, like it is
the birth of meaning
the re-creation of fire
that newly celebrated equation that proves


yes, there is something more alive in me
there is a well-traveled path, a widening road
there is a well-lit horizon, and the wide house of the sun
and I am walking in
to its heart
— A version of this poem first appeared in PoetsArtists, December 201