Thank You Poet Henry T. Contreras
North Dakota Stormy Skies
The first cloud had much to say.
It's dark now please make way.
Getting rid of all its rays.
To the loud percussion that has started to play.
A kaleidoscope of lights and wet shimmer falls from the sky.
To a crescendo which makes the air fly.
The owls flight
Keeper of the night.
I hear your cries.
The hollow breaks of wings in flight.
Watch over her endless sky.
Keeper of the night.
Perched high amongst the sycamore trees.
I hear you when I close my eyes.
Somewhere near keeping guard.
Lead me in childhood dreams.
Q1.Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a native Californian. I’ve been involved in poetry a long as I can remember. It started in elementary school when I got involved in acting, mostly theatre. As I entered high school and college the projects became a little more involved. I started writing my own monologues and poetry. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. As I started in marketing and management, mostly restaurants. I used what I learned in writing to help describe our products, events but I never stopped writing. Since I got a lot of friends who are musicians, I started writing for them and started creating lyrics for them through time. Some they used and some parts they scraped but it’s all a part of the process but I was still writing. It wasn’t until this year I started taking it seriously and started really focusing on it regularly. It never has been a job but more of a creative outlet. So this year I have started developing my first book of poems that I have created over the years and my first novel. It’s pretty exciting and a work in progress.
Q2. Why is poetry important?
I find poetry extremely important. It’s a description of emotions of our journey. It’s like a painter trying to tell a story but through words. As I write my first novel I use poetry to help me describe a scene or a character then break it down piece by piece. If you look at a painting, its poetry painted through the eye of an artist. Same goes with poetry. Even as a lyrist I use poetry to describe how someone is feeling about a moment of time, what someone is going through, someone’s hope and desires.
Q3. How does a poem begin for you, with an idea, a form or an image?
I have a few triggers that get my mind buzzing to start writing. Sometimes it’s just a word that I hear on the radio or a word sticks out in a magazine or book I am reading. Sometimes it’s a picture done by a conceptual artist and I start describing in words what I see. It’s the people I meet. Location I’m at or a mood I am feeling. I can be driving and I see the sky and the most amazing sunset takes place and my mind starts writing. It could be on a foggy beach or a bird in a tree. That’s why I think it’s a great Ideal to always have notepads and voice recorders where ever you’re at because there’s triggers everywhere when we looking around.
Q4. Where is your favorite place to write and why?
My favorite place to write has to be in my front room with a tablet on my sofa with my dogs. I am most creative late at night when the worlds asleep and I’m away from my job. I find it peaceful when I am able to sit in the darkness like a blank canvas. I have playlist I like to listen to with my favorite songs that seem to trigger different emotions. Once I start to write things seem to flow and I loose myself in thoughts and time.
Q5. What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?
There is a big difference between my speaking voice and my written voice. Since I’m in front of a lot of people continuously I have to be more direct and to the point, constantly projecting. My written voice is more descriptive and analytical like having a conversation with your best friends, soft at times but always descriptive. You seem to be more open with your family and friends than how you speak in public.
Q6. What are your thoughts about social media and poetry? Do you think it helps the poet or hinders the poet?
I find social media very important since we have moved more into communication era. I use it as a blank canvas or journal to share my thoughts and poems rather than just hide them in a diary or tablet until you’re ready to put them in a book. They seem to be alive the more they are out in the open for others to read. If your work is true to who you are there is no hindering or restrictions of thought. It’s an artist in the rawest of form sharing who you are to the world.
Q7. What is the best advice you have for other poets?
Be true to who you are. We all face critics and we all get praise. But being true to oneself is the best way to show yourself, where your journey has been and where it is going. Keep reading and writing, I get motivation reading other artist works, listening to musicians play, seeing what artist paint. It’s all a reflection of a moment.
Q8. What do you see in the future for poets, do you believe that poetry will regain its strength over time?
I don’t feel poets have ever lost their place in time but only evolved. I find that even as computers have taken over the majority of our lives, poets like musicians will continue to grow with time. The more we detach ourselves from conversations, writing letters, the descriptions of poetry will get louder since it speaks straight to the heart and makes you stop and look around. I find it will continue to evolve like art, music & literature speaking of the moment.
Q9. Why did you start blogging?
Blogging has gotten me closer to the reader or even other artist. It has placed me in the arena to be heard. We all have voices, thoughts. By blogging it shows my expressions of who I am.
Q10. Do you have any blogging tips?
Be involved. Write about what you see, do, and who you are. There is someone always listening to what you have to say. So be respectful and know we are all in this journey together so writing about it is bringing strength to other artist.
Q11. Who is your favorite poet? And why?
My favorite poet has to be Hafiz. His words has lasted through time and with time changing continuously his words are still able to describe who he was, where he was and the brilliance of his heart and mind.