Ah...hello there! Just as i hoped. Simply lovely to connect again. Welcome, welcome! I'm Annie (Lovely Annie) if this is a first time visit to the Wednesday poet interviews. my partner, Tracy H, are passionate and simply enthralled with poets and poetry...and now, every week we get to rub elbows with the inspired and compelling of this poetic realm! So happy to share with you all!
I am so excited to introduce you to a wonderful individual who weaves words into poetic webs! You may have read some of his poetry on Jingle Poetry Potluck and Jingle Thursday Poets Rally. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the man behind the words...the man known simply as Woih.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, what your life is like…Oh,...what is your REAL name? Woih? Very unique. I would love to share where that name comes from.
My name is Dennis. Woih stands for "Warrior of Infinite Heart". It is an English translation of the Tibetan language. The name was given to me when I chose to take a refuge and Bodhisattva vow.
I love that name! An empathic hero of sorts...
OK, tell us a bit about yourself...
I am married and have two children, a little girl who is 9 and a boy who is 7. I recently moved back to my hometown of Chicago after spending a few years living in Louisville, KY (Kentucky is way cooler).
Yes, Kentucky is very cool...especially Kentucky women. Just ask Niel Diamond!
I love writing acoustic folk/blues songs, painting, reading, getting lost in the woods (it's been too long), meditation and study/reading of Dharma teachings and things related.
What is it about poetry that makes you want to write?
I experience poetry as a tool to let out a part of yourself that is completely held back by thought. To be able to sit down, clear your mind and simply let flow whatever is arising. The other aspect I like is almost the opposite of the above. The times when I have a huge experience but cannot grasp it well enough to write a novel or paper, etc. So poetry allows me to express the thought/experience fully, with a few small verses, sometimes even a short Haiku speaks novels.
I agree. Haiku is a favorite of mine and I love the power that can be found in just a few words.
Have you always written poetry or can you remember writing your first poem?
No, I can't. I'm sure the first thing that came close to a poem was a song.
I consider songs poetry. how old were you when you wrote your first song?
oh...I don't know. 12? Something like that...
The truth comes out! A musician. A poet. A bard, perhaps. That's awesome! Perhaps a song or two will be posted on your blog sometime for us to enjoy (hint hint)
What style of poem do you write most often?
I probably most often write free verse. I recently started experimenting with new forms of poetry I have never seen before, (which is most of them). I think my new favorite is the Ballade Supreme, although is took me hours to complete.
Are there any styles of poetry you find difficult or annoying?
Annoying? Not really. I found the Villanelle and the Ballade Supreme very difficult.
What is your favorite poem? One of YOUR poems to be specific!
Right now it's kind of a coin toss. Either Exiled into Bliss or At Last Light. Exiled into Bliss
because it comes extremely close to describing the relationship experience between my wife and I. It's somewhat other worldly love that we share. At Last Light because it describes my experience of Iraq, the military, my violent past and where it's headed so accurately, maybe as nothing I've ever written before has.
I love the poem At Last Light. And many more!
Read "At Last Light"
Now, do you have a favorite poet?
Yes, Shantideva. He was an Indian Buddhist practitioner/scholar living from 687-763 AD, who composed the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.
What is your favourite poem by that author?
May I be a protector to those without protection,
A leader for those who journey,
And a boat, a bridge, a passage
For those desiring the further shore.
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away.
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all the boundless creatures.
And until they pass away from pain
May I also be the source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space.
Thank you for that, Dennis. I have chills reading it..every time I read it actually!
Any mentors? (life, poetry, any type)
Ooohhh mentor! That's a big question there. In life, yes. A couple of folks at the Dharma Ocean Foundation in Crestone, Co. In particular, Dr. Reggie Ray. These are people that strive to live from the deep well of their human heart and generously give their time and comfort to help others learn the same. When my mind becomes confused, it turns toward that direction.
Sounds really wonderful...you have a community of mentors. What a gift!
Do you have a place of inspiration? A time or location that triggers the poetic genius within?
Always write at the computer desk. I usually sit down and just start typing whatever flows out. I have noticed, however, if I go to write after a meditation session, that's when the really earthy, honest writing comes out.
So, what is your favorite book?
Tibetan Book of the Dead originally written by PadmaSambhava. There isn't a single translation I've come across that has not fascinated me.
Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you? Your life or writing?
A Talisman by Mohandas Gandhi. This quote dramatically changed my life at one time.
Definitely life changing...Thank you for sharing that.
I know you write poetry and songs...any other creative passions?
Anything to do with art and music. Painting, wax-molding (love to mold wax), writing music and songs.
What is your favourite type of music?
Probably a folk/acoustic sound. Ray LaMontagne is an example of the type.
I LOVE Ray! Burn and trouble are my favorites.
What is your favorite song?
The song from his first CD called Narrow Escape.
Narrow Escape on YouTube
I am committed to this question!
If your were a singer/musician/band what would be the name of your band?
I am in a band and it's called the Blue Eyed Sinners.
What is the first album called?
The devils gotta wait his turn.
And what is the name of the first single on the album?
Listen To That Day
Do you have some blogs you find yourself returning to again and again?
(Flattery gets you...Everywhere! Thanks Dennis! wow!)
What did you dream about last? Or do you have re occurring themes in your dreams?
Last night was a rough one. My uncle and I where robbing an airplane when it suddenly took off. So next thing you know, we fell through the ceiling and everybody is staring at us and judging us for well, ya know, being thieves and all. But the stewardess is quite nice and decides to give us both complimentary seats and brown bag lunches.
Next thing ya know we exit the plane and my uncle is somehow dead leaving me stranded in the middle of nowhere. The next moment, my other uncle(who is deceased in real life) is standing with his wife and I in an alley ask me what he thinks of his new house. I try to talk him out of it because I know there is something really shady about it on the inside (supernatural horror film shady) but he looks right past me and decides to move in anyway. The last thing I remember was walking into the basement door. Then I woke up and had that awful inside shaky feeling for about an hour and a half after I woke up.
Soooooo…that's last nights dream. But almost always, there is a house in my dreams.
This is not the time for Dream Tending, yet, I think it is important to note that house dreams are fantastic! The house is often a symbol of the self...self and Self. Pay attention to the houses in dreams. Rooms. Decor. Architecture. Everything. Then think about how these traits of the house might reflect aspects of your inner self in a symbolic manner. Dreams are astounding.
What person, living or dead, would you most like to have over for dinner? Why, and what would you serve? What type of table? And table setting?
Mohandas Gandhi. I think hearing about all of his experiments and exploits would be a great night. I couldn't serve anything extravagant or excessive, for I would certainly be judged by the Gandhi. I guess some risotto and ice water served in Oriyoki bowls, no table, cushions to sit on and one candle for lighting.
That sounds like an amazing dinner!
um...one more question:
What animal do you feel the most connected with?
Since you have shared so much...
I offer you these thoughts:
One more symbolic offering:
Not sure if you picked out your Halloween costume yet. I think utilizing ancient tools of divination is always the best way to decide on an outfit...So, here is your fashion..er...I mean free will horoscope for this week. The stars in the sky are crazy stylish...out of this world, really.
Sunlight may smell spicy or musky to you these days. The wind might have a flavor like chocolate liqueur or a ripe peach. The hum of the earth as it turns may sound like a symphony you heard once in a dream. Your body? Electric. Your soul? Sinewy. In other words, Aquarius magic is afoot. The hills are alive with future memories that taste delicious. Your feet will touch sacred ground far more than usual. Halloween costume suggestion: a character from a film that changed your life for the better.
Factual information and reasonable thinking alone are not sufficient to guide you through life’s labyrinthine tests. You need and deserve regular deliveries of uncanny revelation. One of your inalienable rights as a human being should therefore be to receive mysteriously useful omens on a regular basis
Hmm..Fill us in later if you find a costume inspired by the stars? Until then...
I wish everyone a wonderful Wednesday and a spirited Halloween week!
Dennis, or rather, Warrior of Infinite Heart...We are honored by your presence today and love your presence in this community!
Tracy H is on next week! I can't wait to Meet The Poet then!
He always interviews amazing individualS who inspire...Fantastic partner too...
Until next time...
have a wonder filled week