Recently Santa Clara county appointed its first ever Poet Laureate, Nils Peterson. Peterson hopes to help make poetry more accessible to people who otherwise might not "get" poetry. Isn’t that what Poetry Friday is all about?

From a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News about Peterson:

"When you write poetry, you see the world differently, you see it more sharply," muses Peterson, who refers to himself as a coffee shop poet. "If you look at things hard enough, they start to look back at you."

The poet hopes that language can help us catch our breath in the world as change comes fast and hard all around us.

"Poetry takes a snapshot of where we are so we can look back," says Peterson. "We are all moving so quickly that we forget, we begin to live in a perpetual present. Poetry helps us remember."

You can read more about Peterson at the Poetry Center San Jose.

Where Here Is

How will we know where here is
until it tells us, until this oak speaks
its story and these grasses whisper
what their mothers said to them
when they were seedlings? The crow
overhead is not just a carrier of
crowness. It speaks with the caw
of its own life. The air about us
is this air carrying smell messages
from the majesty of this place.
Knowing where here is — is paying
back the world with our attention,
not planting a heavy foot on the shore
of the earth like a conquistador.

— Nils Peterson

The round-up of all the Poetry Friday posts in the blogosphere can be found with Kelly Polark.