Friday, June 14, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

Walking Past Midnight 
By Billy Howell-Sinnard

He runs ahead into the night.
The bodiless phosphorescence--

reflection of countless tiny stars
falling--covers the ground in light.

I follow dark stars in the snow
to an open field beyond trees;

we two, the only living beings
in sight. The unlit houses bare

faceless mirrors staring back
like a coven of somnambulists.

Reluctantly, I yell for him, afraid
I will awaken sleepers. We run,

instinctively, to the back door,
shaking the snow from our bodies.

Shoe and paw prints disappearing,
a moment's presence buried.

Billy Howell-Sinnard posts in some of the same poetry groups as me on facebook, and I consistently admire his work. I particularly love his haiku and tanka, which have the same qualities as this longer piece I've chosen — musicality of language, beautiful and evocative visual imagery, and something else that I don't quite know how to designate except to say that he gets a sense of soul into his text somehow, though without being overtly spiritual. He follows the gentle and idealistic Baha'i faith, and posts many of those teachings on his facebook page; so I wonder if, perhaps, when spirituality imbues one's whole life, there is no need to spell it out in one's poetry: it will show anyway. He says of himself as a poet: 

He loves words but believes poetry transcends words. He likes simple language that through the power of spirit transcends the moment.

I found that quote with a poem of his, Red Trike, in the Victorian Violet Press and Journal, where I also learned that he is a former heroin addict now working as a registered nurse, and that he studied cast metal sculpting at the University of Iowa.

The best place to find more of his poetry online is at SoundCloud, where you can hear it.

Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).


  1. I so love this poem, Rosemary, and did check out the poet, another amazing soul on the path. Thanks for the introduction. You always find the most amazing poets!

  2. This post made my day, Rosemary! I will visit your links later, but this has the house windows, the moment's presence buried! I felt as if I was there, Billy H-S, in the moment filled with the spirit of sleepers and two moving figures.

  3. The poem that stole MY heart was "Red Trike"! Thanks for sharing him.

  4. Certainly an amazing poet with a wonderful way to touch souls with his words. Thanks for the introduction, Rosemary. Glad you have a finger on the pulse of these accomplished artists!

  5. great poems

    i write poems too
    and limericks

    you are welcome to visit my site

    1. Thank you. I have left a comment at your blog on how to join and participate in Poets United.

  6. A gem of a poem. The atmosphere is there from the start.

  7. Thank you, all, for your generous remarks. And thank you, Rosemary, for bringing my poem to Poets United. I have a poem that won first place at the Interboard Poetry Contest here:

    1. Thanks Billy, glad you came by to see how much your work was appreciated. C ongratulations on your win.


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