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San Luis Obispo has many temporary residents. They arrive by bus or train and are gone in a matter of days, weeks, or even months. Matthew Monsen is one such transient (he doesn’t like the term homeless). He arrived in mid-April, wrote a flurry of poems, offering to recite them at local businesses in exchange for such necessities (or luxuries, depending on your perspective) as food or a haircut. Carrying a half-dozen notebooks filled with riddles, sketches, poems, and ramblings, Monsen credits poetry with helping him overcome his addictions to cocaine and alcohol.

During his stay, he often asked people he met to give him a word of inspiration, a word to describe nature, a tree, spring. From these words, he spins a poem. Some of his pages have titles but no words. Among his works in progress is a poem about the cigar shop downtown and Couch Potato.

The poem below expresses Matthew’s enthusiasm for nature, for SLO, and for spring.

 

Spring’s Coming,
Spring’s Near

Spring’s coming!
Haven’t you heard?

Look at the

Flowers and breathe in
the air,

Spring’s Coming…
So they say!

Why not just look around you and
give it a wear

Morning’s dewdrops
gently drying on
a rose’s petal…

Enter in…
the Afternoon!
and

the Sun…
in All its
splendor.

gently unfolding into delicate curves of joy

and Colors beyond
the imagination
of a painter’s palette

Yes! Spring is Coming!

Spring is near.

Blink of an eye…
it’s already here!

 

 

 

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