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Roger B. Humes


Golden Pen


A long time ago I was fortunate to work with an excellent poet, James Hearst, who helped to plant my feet firmly on the path of my artistic quest in life. Especially appropriate were two lessons that he taught me:

1. One day while we were talking he told me that I should be patient. I had the drive, the desire to write poetry, but I would have to live much more to have enough to write about. He gently explained that I would probably be nearly fifty before I truly found my voice. He was right.

Roger Humes

2. Once when I was pounding my head against the wall of prosody he told me a story of when he experienced the same frustrations. It seemed he had an older friend who was both a carpenter and a poet. When Jim told him of his problems, the man threw down his hammer, spit on the ground, and said, "Damn it, Jim, you don't learn how to saw a damn board by reading it in some book! You learn it by sawing the damn board!"

How is this relevant to my poetry today? Outside of the fact it allowed me to tell one of my favourite stories, it reminds us that in the end poetry comes down to hard work; those hours alone placing the scratches of our souls down on the enticing blank glare of the page to capture the ever moving instant now. It also reminds us that we should follow our hearts.

If your poems are honest and the best you can do, what else matters? All the rest is either "icing on the cake" or vanity.

I would like to dedicate these poems to the memory of James Hearst, and to my friend and co-author Sheema Kalbasi, who has taught me more about poetry than anyone else since that wise old man...

The following link will take you to Roger Humes' Web site of Poetry and Art :

Roger's latest publication is: 'There sings no bird' "A collection of poems built around the Arabic legend of Madjnun and Layla, in this book Humes creates a “poetic canvas” or “concerto of verse” that probes with a unique language and an honest eye into the deepest of human emotions."
Click on the following link to purchase this book:


starPoems by Roger B. Humes:star

"There Is An Instant"

"The Eve Of War"

"I Placed Stones In My Words"

"The Flood"

"There Is A Story Told In Whispers"

"The Garden"

"Along The Edge Of The Crisp Air"

"Your Words Touch Me"

"Call Me From The Earth
For I Have Many Names"

"My Name Is Ishmael"

"Within The Heart Exists A Shadow"

"The Captivity"

"From My Open Window"

"They Say You Lay Sleeping"

"Watching The Children Play"

Golden Pen Poets

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Copyright © 2003 K. Kianush, Art Arena