Biography of Mike Finley
In the 1970s I was a much-published young poet. But I have since gone into hiding.
Mike Finley's Works:
The Movie under the Blindfold (Vanilla Press,1976)
Home Trees (Minnesota Writers Publishing House,1976)
Water Hills (Salthouse Press,1985)
Looking for China: Selected Poems (Kraken Press,1986)
70 Years Behind the Plough: More Selected Poems (Kraken Press,2005)
The Orchard (Richard Stephens Press,2007)
Mike Finley Poems
A Prayer For Poets
Let a thing be what we say it is, if a donkey is eating corn let the donkey not be an allegory nor the corn a corn byproduct.
i hear the chime of the poem's voice and in the notes you write a guy who hungers for truth and tells it too who understands that pain is the face
Be a Better Poet
1. Stop talking and listen. Listen to yourself listening. Then listen to that. 2. Pile all your hats in the back yard and burn them. Especially any with feathers.
A Prayer Against Pride
You are the winking stream, We are all hiccup and failure. You are love, a perfect dream.
The Sugar House
The sugar house is shutting down,
A Prayer for Redefinition
How confusing it all is. 'Humility' suggests crouching. But what it means is relaxing, Allowing happiness to happen.
Proof of God
Is in the breath so simple. Breathe in, breathe out, Then tell where one begins And the other ends.
You were innocent, you shared The prejudices that connected us Like prayer, and the world held firm Behind its insipid certainties.
A Prayer For Resilience
As the mountain hungers to be made flat So I burn for your salvation. Help me to forgive the airplanes
A Prayer at Planting Time
The hardest lesson of the sinner Is that all is in you, and nothing in him. Why are we given these garrulous minds If the end-challenge is only to submit?
you strip like an ear of corn gold & beautiful silk tumbling
High in the hills a man pulls fish from a stream.
Prayer of Thomas Merton (Rewrite)
Where I am going, I don't know The road ahead twists out of sight Where it will lead no one can say
A Prayer for Truth
We know you are the self-concealed God because to do otherwise, skulking behind sycamores, would be a dead giveaway.
Be a Better Poet
1. Stop talking and listen. Listen to yourself listening. Then listen to that.
2. Pile all your hats in the back yard and burn them. Especially any with feathers.
3. Remove your name from everything you do. Anonymity purifies. Fame corrodes.
4. Drive out your own sound by inviting in others.
5. Stop breaking sentences into lines. Instead, breathe. The breaks find themselves.