Note: The next poetry and music jam is 6 p.m. May 14 at the library, 1445 Commerce Drive, Crestview. It starts with conversation and refreshments, followed by poetry and music at 6:30.

I look forward, with great anticipation, to our monthly open-mic meetings at the Crestview library.

For me, poetry provides a means to fight off the mounting pressures of daily life by expressing myself and my feelings (good, bad or indifferent) in this ageless written form of art.

Poetry helps me to explore nearly endless avenues of creativeness through its use of verse, meter, rhyme, metaphor and a myriad of other poetic devices. And, by allowing myself to be an active participant, I have come to realize there are many opportunities and venues for me to share my words.

No, no one here is going to make you stand up and speak in front of the group unless you want to! However, by doing so, I’ve been able to test my written and verbal skills of communication and imagery, along with whatever acting abilities I’ve wished to hone. And I, for one, have been willing to seek out such opportunities.

So if you’re curious about our gatherings, enjoy poetry in general, or you’re already an experienced poet looking for a place to belong, our meetings provide an occasion to experience many poetic colors, expressions, musings and music from local artists who are continuing to develop their craft.

In the end, you can’t go wrong by showing up, checking it out, and giving yourself the opportunity to be involved. And don't forget, you might happen to make some great new friends in the process. 

Tony Damigo, Crestview