Vaughn Hardacker here: Several years back I was a member of a writer group that met monthly at the public Library in Exeter, NH. The group had no rules about what type of writing members had to write (I also belonged to another group that met weekly, but was comprised exclusively of mystery writers) and since the venue was a public library it was open to anyone who wanted to attend–including poets.
I have to confess that I cannot write poetry, nor do I read it nor do I understand it. I belong to a group today in which there are several poets and each time they read something I am absolutely lost. In fact, what usually happens is that I listen to the comments made by my fellow writers and always ask myself, “How did they draw that conclusion from what was read?” I’m a hard-boiled kind of guy and the nuances of poetic language, as well as the art form are lost on me.
Now, let’s talk about the subject of this blog. I recall watching Ronnie Jay when he entered our group for the first time. He was dressed in a cowboy hat and boots and told us that he had recently relocated to New Hampshire from Nashville where he wrote country music songs. I immediately visualized hearing odes to a horse, laments about lost dogs, whiskey drinking, trains, pickup trucks, and of course women grieving for their husbands and boyfriends who were doing time. To get to the point, Ronnie didn’t read anything that night, but promised to have something when he came back the next month.
He sat quiet through most of the next meeting and when his turn came he said, “I wrote a little poem about writing that I’d like to read.” A few seconds later I was astounded. Ronnie had written the first poem that I could not only appreciate, but also understand. Here’s that poem:
The Unknown Writer
I’m an unknown writer
Creative as they come
But, there’ll come a day, I dare say
I’ll be a famous one.
I’ll write a #1 best-seller
And oh, the riches it will bring,
It’ll sell more in every bookstore
Than Grisham, Crichton, or King.
I know you won’t believe me
And I can’t make you a believer,
But, if I don’t believe in myself
No one else will either.
Yes, I know it sounds impossible
To reach those heights of fame
And I realize that I may never
Be a household name.
But, it doesn’t really matter
If my dreams do or don’t come true,
I’m still gonna keep on writing
Because that’s what writers do
Ronnie disappeared from our lives shortly after that. We assumed that he had gone back to Music City, but if by chance you should read this blog, Ronnie. Leave me a comment and I’ll get in touch.