100 Years of Wonder and Words:
Thinking of Ferlinghetti on His 100th Year

by Laurie Kuntz

March 24 2019

Just to live to be 100,
one would think is enough,
or too much.

To be a poet
at 100, to see the world in daily
verse, in metered awe, every
day an enjambment, spilling

years of words into understanding
what saves us,
from lies, and bad
governments, and all the hype.

I am still waiting for an end-stop, making us pause
and ponder the words of an old man,
who, still, can take a daily walk,
hear the squawk of crows,

and notice the yellow primrose peeking
through cement, an old man, who still believes
poetry can heal, and lives year after year,
convincing us with words.

PHOTO: Lawrence Ferlinghetti with his painting van Gogh #2 (Arles n’existe pas), 1994, represented by Krevsky Fine Art. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am still waiting for my inner muse to appear. This poem, an homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, gave me inspiration for finding my inner and outer muses.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She taught creative writing and poetry in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Many of her poetic themes are a result of her working with Southeast Asian refugees for over a decade after the Vietnam War years. She has published one poetry collection (Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press) and two chapbooks (Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press), as well as an ESL reader (The New Arrival, Books 1 & 2, Prentice Hall Publishers). Her new full-length poetry collection, The Moon Over My Mother’s House, was published in 2021 by Finishing Line Press. Moment Poetry Press has published a broadside of her poem “The Moon Over My Mother’s House.” Her poems, “Darnella’s Duty” and “Not Drowning But Waving” have been produced in a podcast from LKMNDS, and her poem “Darnella’s Duty” is published in a new Black Lives Matter Anthology. Her two ESL books have been featured on the podcast ESL for Equality, Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her chapbook, Simple Gestures, won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook  Contest. She was editor in chief of Blue Muse Magazine and a guest editor of Hunger Mountain Magazine.  She has produced documentaries on the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Law, and currently is a researcher/producer  for a documentary on the  Colombian peace process and reintegration of guerrilla soldiers in Colombia. She is the executive  producer of an Emmy winning short narrative film, Posthumous. Recently retired, she lives in an endless summer state of mind. Visit her at lauriekuntz.