My own journey in becoming a poet began with memory – with the need to record and hold on to what was being lost. One of my earliest poems, ‘Give and Take,’ was about my Aunt Sugar, how I was losing her to her memory loss.
I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river.
When I think of how we show faith, I cannot help but think of the example of my own father. I recall vividly how the spirit of missionary work came into my life. I was about thirteen years of age when my father received a call to go on a mission.
In my own mind, I was sort of a desperate kid.
I have been my own disciple and my own master. And I have been a good disciple but a bad master.
I just like being on my own on trains, traveling. I spent all my pocket money travelling the London Underground and Southern Railway, what used to be the Western region, and in Europe as much as I could afford it. My parents used to think I was going places, but I wasn’t, I was just travelling the trains.
The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstition of the Christian religion.
In the past I have declined to comment on my own work: because, it seems to me, a poem is what it is; because a poem is itself a definition, and to try to redefine it is to be apt to falsify it; and because the author is the person least able to consider his work objectively.
I look at my own reservation, the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota – on my reservation, one quarter of our money is spent on energy. All of that money basically goes to off-reservation vendors whether it is for electricity, or whether it is for fuel.
I have hundreds of poems memorized. Mostly by others, but also my own. I use the poems when I lead retreats for management groups on topics like creating teams, or coming up with a more entrepreneurial system, or creating more excitement.