Where do ideas for poems come from? For me, it’s almost always something very small. An image, a phrase, a brief moment in a conversation–I call them seeds. It’s when I feel an opening inside my head, a fascination, a connection, the potential for growth. Then I try to save that feeling, to sort of incubate it in my head until I’m ready to plant it, I guess. Sometimes nothing ever comes from these seeds, of course. But sometimes it does. Yes.
So, the other day I was visiting my parents at the house where I grew up, and I happened to notice the name of a road near their house: “Crow Hill.” This name has been common knowledge to me since I was a kid, but I never really thought about it as an image. A hill. With crows. Yes, there really is a hill there. The road goes up quite steeply. I don’t know about the history of the crows, though. Crows are fairly common birds, aren’t they? Maybe they used to congregate there. Maybe someone with the last name Crow used to live there. Who knows. My grandfather used to feed dog food to the crows near his house.
Whatever this history, though, I have this image jiggling in my head now. A jumping-bean seed? There’s a swirling of the words, my childhood, my grandfather, black birds, a road, harsh cries, landscape.
So perhaps a poem will come. Perhaps it’s even now putting forth roots, underground where I can’t see it.