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The inspiration for poetry? I don't really know. I have always liked writing. Short stories, essays, comedy skits and poetry. A lot of my spontaneous thoughts about a topic just seem to come out in that form more readily than in other forms. I guess.

Here you will find just a small selection of the many dozens of poems that I have written. Some of those that are not included here are omitted because they just simply were not very good. Others are not included because they are too political or personal, and in some instances too trivial. But I like these ten poems. They are, for the most part, quite different from one another and represent some of the different topics and genres that appealed to me at the time. For me, at that time anyway, they captured well my thoughts and emotions about the subject at hand.

"Dream of the Green Cobra"  was simply that, a dream. And the poem is nothing more than a literal and linear recounting of a very bizarre dream that I had. For those of you heavy into dream interpretation I hardly have to tell you how strongly imbued with all sorts of hidden meaning the imagery of this dream holds.

"God, the Earth, the Sky & You"  is a look back on the passage of time and the losing of touch with someone once known long ago and far away, the smallness of our existence and inability to affect change to certain realities. I like this poem for a number of reasons, but I like it most because it mentions God. I am a God believer, and I have noticed as I get older that many people are very uncomfortable with God. Either uncomfortable with the idea that there is a God, or accepting that there is a God, uncomfortable with a God who does not conform to their view of what God should be. I like that.

"King of the Road"  is about our love affair with cars, and more specifically the young men of the Nineties and their road racing cars and sports sedans. It captures for me the narcissism of that time and generation. I think that it is still relevant.

"Mother's Milk"  was one of the first poems that I wrote in New York City, when I was living in Brooklyn. It is a literal account. I thought about not including it, because it touches on some very uncomfortable imagery and uses some rather coarse language to describe that imagery, but it was the reality of the situation. So, in the end, it is included. I like it, and it still provokes a strong emotion in me to this day.

"Red Beard"  was inspired by a long, and I mean long, train journey across southern Ukraine and Russia and the endless landscape that passed before my eyes. At the time I had been reading a great deal of history related to the Eastern Front during World War Two and the vistas that I sat staring at started to become populated with much of the historical imagery that was indeed particular to those places that I was passing through. Maybe it will inspire you to learn something of the history of that land if it seems strange or unknown to you?
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"Silver Snail"  is another big favorite of mine that was written while I was living out on Long Island and commuting into the City for work. The term is well known to locals. It is one of the few poems that I read nearly twenty years on that I do not want to make some sort of editorial change to.

"The Leader Falls"  was actually inspired by the death of Hafez al-Assad of Syria, though as I wrote the poem it came to be more about autocrats and dictators in general. I like it - especially in light of recent history.

"Uncle Bill"  is the only really personal poem that I have included here. It captures for me such a strong mood of our familial relations. Maybe it makes you think about yours. He was a good guy and a very fun uncle for all of us cousins, but suddenly and sadly he was struck down and gradually paralyzed by a series of strokes. Make the most of your time and do not wait for tomorrow.

"Winter Sun"  is just a bit of nostalgia inspired by a rather quiet December many years ago. It is not that good, but I like it anyway, because it captured the mood for me.

"Black Sea"  might be one of my best. It was inspired by a particular person, in a particular place. A place that is greatly steeped in mythology and lore. The poem is set on a stretch of coast on the Black Sea, on the Crimean Peninsula, between the towns of Feodosia and Sudak. That stretch of coast is actually quite a popular vacation destination for Russians, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans. The terrain is ruggedly beautiful and austere, the weather temperate, and the stars at night are right on top of you, but it is also prone to sudden storms that blow in from off the sea. The Black Sea.

I hope you will enjoy them.
© 2011 Michael R. Hughes Contact Hughes