When serving my country in the US Navy in 1998, I came to the mutual
agreement with dear old Uncle Sam that the sailor's life wasn't for me. A nervous
breakdown at Knoll's Atomic Power Laboratory in upstate New York shattered the
possibility of my working underwater in a nuclear submarine's engine room. So life
My parents welcomed me home with open arms, without any sense of
resentment. A year later, they ran away from Michigan to the warmer climate of the
mid-south. In the following months, I wrote my first poem: "Courage".
My brother immediately tried entering those lyrics into a poetry contest, but
as luck would have it, "Courage" was too long. So I wrote "Seen and not Heard".
Twas a semifinalist in the International Society of Poets' (ISP) monthly contest, and
was also published in one of their poetry anthologies.
Encouraged, I kept writing. I wrote as a retail manager. I wrote as a
professional truck driver. Eight more poems semifinaled and were published. One
poem per year was included in "The Best Poems and Poets of 2000", "The Best
Poems and Poets of 2001", and "The Best Poems and Poets of 2002", all
published by the International Library of Poetry. The ISP also presented me with
an "International Poet of Merit" silver award bowl March 3, 2002.
So all my friends and family posed the big question: "When are you going
to get published?" My answer was always "it's not ready yet."
Which poems would I include? I liked some poems, and wasn't quite sure
on others. I thought to keep this one in, and leave that one out. But every time I
told someone I was going to leave one out, they replied "that's the story of my life,
you have to put it in your book."
I have come to the conclusion that every poem written has its own special
meaning, whether to the author, or to an anonymous reader. Some words brought
me comfort, while others encouraged my friends. A few were just for fun, while
others seemed to prove that there is always someone else out there that knows
"how you feel".
So when am I going to get published? The answer is "now". I hope that this
collection of lyrics helps inspire you to live a better life, or to feel better about
yourself, or at least, that you enjoy the poetry.
Until next time...
Thomas Herbert Clouser
-the mincer of words-