I have lived two lives:
One with, and one without… alcohol.
In the start of my second life, after a spiritual awakening on February 7th, 1995 at Betty Ford Center:
I prayed for Poetry to come into my life.
I was traveling in Mexico, burning up my journals with hot stories about female bullfighter, Cristina Sanchez, getting bulled over by a bull at San Miguel De Allende’s “Pamplonada,” traveling with friends.
But no poetry. I mean: I could write a poem from my mind, work hard, make it rhyme–force something… But I did not want to do that. I wanted the poetry to flow like my prose. To be inspired.
So I called out to God in silent prayer from the little pension where I was staying. And I kept that prayer lit for a couple weeks.
Still no poetry.
Until I left San Miguel (nice) for a more humble, poor Dolores Hidalgo. I took a daytrip. I felt. I saw. I smelled trash burning. I played soccer with kids in front of an old church. I bought a soccer ball for the kids. Then saw the biggest, fastest one steal it and run away home.
It was after that day when Poetry arrived.
-by Pablo Neruda
And it was at that age … Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.
Lines flooded into my vision out of my dreams at five in the morning, just before sunrise.
I grabbed my journal and walked to the top of the hill over San Miguel de Allende.
I wrote down what I heard. Lines rhyming in Spanish and in English–every other line a different tongue.
I thanked God heartily, have kept writing since then, and offer this site to express everything poetic about Bill Watkins. (That’s me)
–Bill Watkins, 11-3-2016