Were there any lines in any of your rough drafts of this poem that were not in the final version? And can you share them with us? No, none that I can think of.
Which part of the poem was the most emotional for you to write, and why? My wife is a dreamer. I worry about everything. I’m afraid of heights. She did all the driving across SF Bay bridges and on the coast around Mendocino. It was hard to catalog differences between the two characters in the poem because I was really cataloging the differences between my wife and I. That was tough to do.
Anything you would like to add? Too many people are afraid to write poetry: “It’s too complicated. It’s too deep. I can’t understand it. I can’t write it”. I encourage them to write
about what happened today, or last week. Don’t write about the universe. Write about the date you had last night. Write about that chair in your kitchen that always wobbles. Don’t worry about the form, or artificial rules. Write anything—just don’t be afraid to write.
When I lead children in writing poetry I give them no rules other than write about what’s in their rooms or closets or behind their back fences. They just blossom and can’t stop writing poems. Free from rules and constraints, they feel free to, well, just write. And they craft the most marvelous poems. That what this poem has in it: a
catalogue of what I saw and experienced in California. A mackerel’s eye. Little ponds on little ranches baking dry in the summer heat. Santa Ana winds. Brush fires. Shake roofs. Ojai, and Morro Bay. My wife, Molly McCormack (Above Left) (http://mollymccormack.com/index.html), wrote a terrific song, “Silent Woods” (as well as a short illustrated children’s book with the same title, “Silent Woods”), (https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Woods-Molly-McCormack/dp/1494487845/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537819125&sr=1-6) about not being afraid to use your talents. She borrowed a line from Henry van Dyke: (Above Left)"Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best." I think that says it all.
AFTER YOU DROVE
Mark Lee Webb’s “After We Drove”