MPitS  Dan Levinson

Dan Zev Levinson has been teaching with California Poets in the Schools since 1998, reaching thousands of K-12 students at over sixty sites. Most of his residencies are in Humboldt County in the far north of California, where the redwoods meet the ocean and where Dan walks in the forest daily, looking and listening to the natural world and the rhythm of walking for inspiration.

He hadn't intended on working with kids so much, as he trained to be a professor of literature and creative writing, earning a master's in literature and in the teaching of writing (from Humboldt State University), and a master's of fine arts in creative writing (from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). But then he also never meant to run his own flower delivery business--using a big blue tricycle--or to be a stagehand either.

Dan has taught at Humboldt State University, College of the Redwoods, the Redwood Coast Writers' Center, and is a Redwood Writing Project teacher-consultant. Being a freelance editor and writing consultant (see ), Dan has acted as a contributing editor to various publications. His poems and other writings have appeared in many journals and anthologies.


Waiting for Everything
--for Alicia Morris and Joel Arroy

The poet is not clever
and his poems do not tell tales.

The poet is scarred by the sun.
A golden fishhook pricks his thumb.

There is no telling what this telling
can do to you. We travel busy roads

to keep from hearing things by firelight.
This is to say that the bright lamps

in homes are misleading, as are teachers
of things that do not matter to you.

Hot sand burns your bare foot
when you walk in ways unsought,

but it is good to be walking,
is it not? The body is a scar.

Our memories build unruly temples
where spirits betray the past.

There is no past to hold us back.
We wear robes and say we learn.

To what degree are we beholden?
These words block out the light.

A child will marry himself
to the rainbow birds in the water sky.

This is one way of saying that poems
land gently upon the grass.

There is a wish on the wind
sung by the smallest child.

She is clad in tongues of dragonfire
and knows where to point,

when to clap her tiny hands
and the whole mountain collapses.

Each true thought is made in this way,
each moment cascades, a wet pearl

that dissolves upon sight. Nothing
worth seeing is ever seen twice.

Take your dream with you
to the corner store where everything

is waiting for you, jarred, unstirred,
untasted, ready to serve.


SCHOOLS & COMMUNITY_________________________
California Poets In the Schools Teacher
Humboldt County Poet Teacher & Co-Area Coordinator
Sanhedrin HS, Mendocino County

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