Editor’s note: Today concludes The Tribune’s seventh-annual salute to poetry on the Central Coast.
This week’s selection rounds out the Tribune’s tribute to local poets during April, National Poetry Month. I’ve marveled at the insights and freshness of the poems entered, and I wish we could have printed more. Thank you to all who contributed, and please send another poem next year.
It is my hope that this series has inspired others to write poetry, to open your awareness to the ordinary and the extraordinary. As Mary Oliver wrote in “A Summer Day,” after observing a grasshopper close-up:
“Who made the world?
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Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
—Rosemary Wilvert, 2007 San Luis Obispo poet laureate