Poem Is in the Poet’s Eye. {poetry}


I wrote the following piece as a sort of response to inquiries about my process when I write… what inspires me, and why, when I am out and about, I’m always stopping to write because of something I’ve seen, heard, or felt.

A friend might be saying something to me, and two or three words will snap together like long-lost puzzle pieces, and the poem spins around it like a spider wraps a bug for its dinner, or, less gruesomely perhaps, the way the oyster makes a pearl out of grit. Poetry is both the essence and the end result.

“That’s a poem,” the muse informs me. This feeling. This object. This bird. This agony. This ineffable joy. And so on, in the infinity symbol of poem and poet becoming one. From reality to metaphor and back again.

Any aspect of life, death and beyond — anything observable and describable — contains or is a poem to me. Which is to say everything. When the poet peeks behind the façade of the one-dimensional, they find a poem. Poetry is like a shy child who likes to hide. The muse dictates, and I merely transcribe.

Thus, I don’t write poetry, as much as I receive it. The poet doesn’t really try. The poem is in the poet’s eye. Inspiration arrives from near and far destinations, from dreams, from the enormity of tragedy, a tsunami, or a global pandemic, to a single drop of morning dew on a leaf or the sparkle on fool’s gold.

Truly, everything one can observe and describe is poetry. Things seen in and beyond other things, the voice and messages found in nature, and all those lessons life endeavors to teach, both gently and harshly at times.

Therein lies my process, if any. I quiet the intellect, listen, observe, feel and write.


My poetry tends
to be
rather metaphor-heavy.

Well, life is a series of metaphors
to me.

They add a lovely layer
of perception
to an otherwise uninspired perspective.

To be fair,
my prose has been known to groan
beneath wearied images
the reader might find cliché;

windchimes tangled
and dreams…
both broken and caught
in nets
of animal cracker-shaped clouds.

Breathy poems recited
in reverent tones
about whatever the hell love is anyway.

I write about how it feels
to be both the handful of crumbs
and the feast.

To be the shells
on sand,
what falls from the beak,
as well as
the long white stretch of beach.

How I’m
a dangerous storm within,
contained by soft skin.

And that I’m not on a journey
but am the journey;

the looking forward,
the looking back.

How I’m faceted;
not as a diamond (necessarily),

but in kaleidoscopic shards
and ribbons of prisms —
rainbows that dance on prison walls and kitchen ceilings,
when the late sunlight hits just right

and there I am:
no longer dancing alone.

Writing is my inside out;
nerves frayed
naked soul displayed
then cauterized
then clothed.

The muse hides behind a fun-house mirror
distorting my reflection,
then I see her,
in the glassy stillness
of a lake’s surface perfection;
in which I
am both the sky
and its liquid blue echo.

When I create,
I’m both
paper and pen
in the hand
of the grand poet.

And if reincarnation
really is a thing,

I want to return
as a feast of prose

or mysterious lyrics
to sing.


Lisa Guerci‘s longest love affair has been with words. Language, communication, creativity and self-expression are the four points on her compass, and authenticity is her True North. Lisa sees everything through the lens of poetry. A writer throughout an extremely non-linear life, she believes in the magic of imagination to transport, transform and create. Given to indulgent bouts of metaphor, excessive alliteration, and a compulsion to correct grammar, Lisa lives happily in NY with her parakeets, Anam and Cara, and twin Hemingway cats, Ava and Amelie. She is a proud mom to two successful adult children and besotted Gigi of two young grandsons. She has worn many hats, of which the one of Poet fits her best.


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