As I walk the streets of Charleston turning down the cobblestone of the French Quarter, I can hear faint sounds of journeyman and poets through the walls of the historic buildings.? For centuries, Charleston has defined romanticism with passionate simplicity and elegance.? It is a city blessed with church steeples and architecture that dates back to the early colonists escaping religious persecution for a better life.? It is in their sweat and blood that we can now smell the fragrance of flowers, freedom and community.
Written word and song from lover to lover, performer to fans, dreamers to visionaries and leaders to supporters has been the capstone of our foundation in Charleston.? From Gershwin to Poe, Charleston has housed some of the most creative minds in American history.
As a poet and a writer, Charleston showers me with inspiration each and every day.
My love for this town inspired the following poem:
This is Charleston
It is a rainbow of infinite memories From the early settlers to the pioneers of tomorrow
Sailboats raise a symbol to the sky as the wind guides them offshore creating a finely stitched canvas of white clouds and ocean blue
From the tips of the church steeples reaching to the heavens, to the remains of our forefathers resting in the sacred burials, Charleston is a blessing and gift
In its wonder, we are taken back in time to cobblestone roads, horse drawn carriages and southern hospitality as sweet as nectar on pecan pie
Once a shipping ground for slavery and inequality; now a harmonious settlement of integration, culture, dining and hospitality
Each morning, the sun rises over the harbor and welcomes a new day with open arms
Streets filled with life, the sound of music and aromas to warm the soul
This is Charleston
It is home to the world
Defining a global appeal, an artist sees a city with a marriage of nature and skyline beauty becoming one Painting in his head a true masterpiece Now this canvas, resting peacefully on the coast, is laden in strokes of reds and blues Always in flux as patrons pay homage to the city we love
This is Charleston
From the laughter of the children in the fountain, to the love of an elderly couple embracing on the sand, this is heart of all that is good
This is Charleston; where the heart of the South reminds you of the beauty of life
After performing at various events in Charleston including Jailbreak 2014,East Bay Meeting House and The 827 Center and hosting spoken word open mic events at How Art Thou Cafe, it is clear that there is incredible talent in this community.? Recently, I published my third collection of poetry and the last collection has been exclusively inspired by the people, places and experiences of this place I call home.? Poetry is often hidden in the shadows due to its intimacy and personal nature.? It is disguised as music, composition, storytelling, acting and written word.
Poetry is a personal emotion that is shared from one to another.
I have often said that poetry is one of the greatest risks you can take in your life.? It is ability to become emotionally naked to everyone around you and let them inside your deepest personal thoughts and feelings.? That is the true core of poetry.
Being honored as the number one city in the world and the nicest city in the United States is not just an honor we carry in a magazine article or a plaque, but a way of life.
Just months before his passing of terminal cancer, the legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano said, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”? That line has stayed with me for 21 years and in all my travels it has never rang more true than in Charleston.? There isn’t a day that goes by without a stranger saying hello or smiling at you.? In times of need, this community rallies like no other.
If you ever find yourself walking down the street alone, thinking and then sitting on a dock watching one of our magical sunsets, you will have experienced visual poetry.
I hope each one of you finds that internal strength to open up your emotional window and let people in.? Each day, you should laugh, cry and think and most importantly, write down how you feel.? Someday, those words will inspire another generation.
If you would like to read more of my personal thoughts, my door is always open at Recruiterpoet Blog and if you see me on the street, say hello.? I may read you a poem.