The Illumined Poet

     The Illumined Poet

Who is he? 

Does he exist?

Is he consistent?

What does he see that others don’t?

Does he know what others don’t?

Is he he, or can he also be a she?

In these days you have to ask,

For it is ‘in’ to be defender

Of the genders one and all.


Poets stand, some sit in chairs;

While sitting up in bed some stare

Into an inner or an outer space

While letting, waiting, waiting, letting

Ideas come with no thought as to future comings,

Future poem-ings,


Afterwards he/she is empty.

Emptied of all relevance 

To theme that took poetic stance,

Metered dance, 

Seemed to be an endless well.


A well, it wells up from below.

What does it do?

Flows upward, outward, 

Shooting, spewing, spurting, spouting, 

Summer-springs that sprout

Ideas, conceptions, thought.


No one knows where all this comes from;

Poet-sage without intention, 

Living on without ambition,

Driven by no aspiration,

Only the illumination 

Bringing into birth a poem

That some

Will grasp, appreciate,

Others miss or misinterpret:

Know it! 

This rare member of the planet: 

The illuminated poet!

The Illumined Poet 9.28.2018 Revelations Big & Small; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative II; Arlene Nover Corwin

I Can Write But I Can’t Speak


I can write but I can’t speak.

It’s as if God says,

“You have a message. Write the words.

I’ll give written words a glaze,

But eloquence that can be heard’s

Off limits, for I slow you down

For honesty, integrity:

To kill the vanity you’ve sown.

I’ll make you stumble, clumsy, dumb,

Slow-thinking, witless,

Sounding somewhat girlish.

I’ve obscured your verbal self

So that you can’t impress.

I keep you in the house

So you must guess

What is and what is not success.


Left there to stammer,

Lose my language;

Syntax, grammar

In a sandwich

Of aphasic doublethink,

The phrases weak,

Technique oblique,

My karma manifestly leaking,

Left to do my dharmic seeking,

(Swim or sink)

Through scribbled, scratched and silent ink.

I Can Write But I Can’t Speak 2.11.2003A Sense Of The Ridiculous; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Pure Nakedness;Arlene Corwin



Watch The Mind

Watch the mind, it’s really quirky.

Let it go and watch it work,

For when you see what it creates

(I don’t see how ‘cause that’s a secret:

‘How’ and ‘why’ the hidden states),

You may discover what a neat trick

To stand back, let go and watch.

Letting go, a chance to snatch

At fantasy creative:

Courage by encouragement.


Fantasy invents by fancy

Giving order to what’s left.

Creativity can steal from nature’s bank

And it’s not theft,

The dancing arts all mind expanding –

Honey way to jar the door

Of quintessential being –

Just by watching what goes on

And doing what needs to be done.


Watch The Mind 7.8.1994

The Processes: Creative. Thinking, Meditative; To The Child Mystic;

Arlene Corwin










Resisting Classification


My genre is a what?


It has rhyme and meter.


It has theory.


It may be none of those,

But on occasion

A good story, mystery, history,

Memoir, auto- or biography

And drama

Speech inherent, sound the theatre?


When they ask, “What is your genre?”

Would you prefer

To not explain, give titles,

Put your writing in a box?

I say we ought to all out-fox the ‘them’

Unfreeze the locks that lock us in,

Call out, “I, genre-free

Will not be classified

Because I’m me,

Not formless or chaotic,

Stumbler or neurotic,

Not a power-mad would-be despotic,

But a me whose temperament

And character and talent

Take what comes in and in that moment

Uses it artistically

Whatever ‘it’ may be.


I am above this sort of sorting –

I de-grade this kind of grading;

I find ranking rank,

The pigeonholing full of holes.

Classifying may comprise,

Consist of compromised convenience –

Just not for me.


Resisting Classification 7.10.2016

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative II; I Is Always You Is We;

Arlene Corwin



The Noble Prize

The Noble Prize, yes, Noble

This has been Nobel Prize week in Sweden.  I don’t know what to compare it to.  As big as Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July…The entire week is taken up on radio and television with Nobel.  One learns about and from the prize winners inside and out.  They’re interviewed constantly.  They have a wonderful television seminar where they’re asked everything and  give their points of view about everything.  These are ordinary, yet great, great men.   Men with matchless focus, peerless perseverance.  Stick-to-it-ness that out does stick-to-it-ness.  30 years, 40 years  they wait – and work.  Bless them.

In December 2001 I wrote the following:

  The Noble Prize

Somewhere exists a noble prize –

An all-eternal prize:

A special type

Without the hype,

Where thought and motive –

Tripped from mind to fingertip,

From pencil scratch and paperclip,

Bind up the un-read whole.

A noble prize

For those who never published.

Those open-pipe, sagacious fools

Who, being tools,

Kept at one thing

By rolling out the scroll

To lengths

Immeasurably long;

Withdrawing ego-hand control,

And finding substance in a song

That never reached a critic’s blows,

But sensing something there that knows

Endeavor’s beauty

And rewards it.

The Noble Prize 12 10.2001

In 2015 I tinkered it to this:

             The Noble Prize #2

Somewhere exists a noble prize.

An all-eternal, special type

Without the hype,

Where thought and motive tripped

From mind and fingertip,

To pencil scratch and paperclip,

Bind the un-read whole.

A noble prize

For those

Who, never published,

Open-piped, sagacious fools

Becoming tools, keep at one thing

By rolling out a scroll

To lengths immeasurably long,

Withdrawing ego-hand control,

Find substance in a song

That never reach a critic’s blows, (or nose or rose)

But sensing something there that knows

The beauty of endeavor

Reimbursing time.

The Noble Prize 12 10.2001/revised 10.12.2015

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative, II;

Arlene Corwin

I Love Talent


I love talent!

I just love talent!

Talent is an ace,

A grace –

A freebee,


Something that you get for nothing;

Something that’s a bank, a chest

Of treasures

And a toolbox all-in-one.

What next, and

How to reach it,

Find and turn it

From a talent

To a skill? Still more,

Teach it

How to be its best?


Talent’s quest as guest of soul:

Soul butler and handmaiden.

I love toiled refinement

And the balance of alignment;

Risk of pain,

Of world’s disdain:

A talent in itself –

And I love talent.


I love Talent 8.17.2001(revised 9.25.2015)

Special People Special Occasions; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative;

Arlene Corwin




Dust On A Mirror

Dust On A Mirror


Bad art, good art:

Rembrandt, Schubert painted, wrote

Works even mother wouldn’t like…

(and you know mother loves it all)

They had to, driven from within.

We all do – driven from within.

Good, bad, mediocre,

Spurred on one time or another

It’s all dust upon a mirror.*


*The Gita says that mistakes belong to humans as dust on a mirror.


Dust On A Mirror 3.18.2010/revised 4.13.2015

Definitely Didactic; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative II;

Arlene Corwin

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