Ambulance Therapy Territory

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

New PR–147

Just Like a Poet

“A remarkable number—writers especially—volunteered
as ambulance drivers for the Allied Powers.”

In my extreme youth
But not too young to think
I might be a poet

Not too young to try my hand
I heard on public radio talking
Yevgeny Yevtushenko about poetry

In which he said just like a poet
With those metaphors
That poetry was an ambulance

Rushing people to their cure
But now many years removed from
A blessedly non-suicidal cowardice

I am finally delivered unto happiness
Not from an outward ambulance
Of some external poet

(Though that has been a tourniquet)
But inward from my own heart’s words
Rushing to the scene


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”


Note to Readers:
This is a catch-up from an old blog post, occasioned by the mysterious disappearance of most of my archives, which had been dating back to April Fool’s Day, 2013.
Also I apologize for the recent dearth of posts. I lost track of part two of the last post, which was due. (It’s hiding somewhere in the labyrinth of website-related docs, and I fear I am but a neophyte when it comes to modern technology and website/blog stuff. So please bear with me. I am shooting to get back on a regular schedule by April Fool’s Day 2016. Meanwhile, I hope to continue to gradually reintroduce the missing archive posts. Fortunately I have word doc copies, and that means I only have to handle the dashboard codes etc. (Which can take a while per post) And then I have had health problems and largely on account of that I am travelling to California to see family friends, and yes doctors. (Not to worry, nothing grave, as it were) Anyway, here’s the post from April 8, 2013) And somehow it’s hard to keep the posts coming with those distractions.


Gentle Readers,
This is largely a poetry production blog. I guess you could say that it exists partly to further my dream of everyone turning poet. This worked out well for me, at least psychologically. In one of my short bios for the few magazines that have published my poetry, I say this:

As a young and budding poet Eric was listening to a public radio station interviewing the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko who said that poems were ambulances. His favorite poet at this time was E. E. Cummings reprising his ambulance driver role in world war I. Eric says of Cummings, “He kept a lonely boy sane.” But after meandering quests and a tragic romantic misadventure, Eric finds one can cut out the ambulance driver middleman, writing one’s own poetry.

And here’s a thing to consider:
While poetry is the art least likely to fetch a living, it has the benefit of being the most accessible. You don’t need to know how to prepare a canvas, wield a brush, read music, or do finger exercises on the piano. You just need to talk to yourself and write down the words. And you can expand your definition of self to one of your metaphors, like for instance use the construct of angels as your muse, or wax pantheistic using flowers for mirrors. It’s amazing the reach of flowers and the concomitant spring as Cummings captured (all over the place like light) but specifically, here:

While you and i have lips and voices which
are for kissing and to sing with
who cares if some oneeyed son of a bitch
invents an instrument to measure Spring with?

And as I say, it’s ambulance therapy territory.

God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

About Eric Halliwell

I am the creator and sustainer of, a website which features (among a few other things, like interesting and inspiring quotes, and Sufi stories) my poetry and illustrative blog posts, about one 1000 word essay a month. It is Sufi-themed, probably because for seven years I was an officially initiated Sufi mureed, in San Francisco circa 1970’s. My poetry has appeared in these publications: Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, (since defunct), Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. I can be reached at

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  1. Pingback: Rachmaninoff’s Huge Hands* | rumi-nations... poetry

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