I was a very average student. It was hard for me to sit still. My gym teacher understood: my mind, like my feet, wanted to wander.
I graduated from college, and I became a banker.
I knew something was wrong when I started picking flowers on my way to work.
So like St. Francis of Assisi, I quit the world of commerce, studied theology, and became a youth minister. I knew something was wrong when I started skipping the church services to play with the kids who themselves couldn't sit through the services!
When I launched a tutoring program to connect inner city and suburban kids, I saw that education was at the heart of my ministry, and I became a high school English teacher.
There, in the classroom, I discovered the power of poetry. I studied Shakespeare, Whitman, and Dickinson with my students, and I started writing poems of my own.
But I knew something was wrong again: poetry wanted to come off the page! It wanted to come to life, so I started acting out poems with my students.
And a funny thing happened. I got so good at making a spectacle of poetry (and myself) that people started calling me to perform poetry at schools, festivals, parties, weddings, and award ceremonies.
And I have never stopped. For twenty five years now
I have made a life of performing and teaching poetry. I've discovered that everyone, from the littlest children to the oldest adults, responds to some kind of poetry.
We may not all be poets, but everyone has poetry.