Till puts creative focus into his poetry

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Kevin Till juggles things in his mind and, then one day, the words just come pouring out.

Those who know Kevin and his family would think those words would make their way into a song.

His granddad played and sang, as did his uncle. His parents are talented musicians. Kevin's dad, Terry, played lead guitar in the band Dixie Pride; his mom, Kathy, sang and he also did vocals for the band.

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With that kind of background in music, it would seem that Kevin would have the talent and the desire to write songs. But, he doesn't. Not the desire anyway.

Kevin Till is a poet.

He smiles when it's pointed out there aren't many high-paying jobs for poets. In fact, there aren't many job openings in the field of poetry anywhere.

&uot;I'm not looking to make money writing poetry,&uot; Till said. &uot;It would be nice if I could, but that's not why I write. It's just a hobby for me. It occupies my mind and it's a way for me to hold on to my thoughts.

For Till, images and ideas always seem to be floating around in his head.

Sometimes they take shape immediately. Other times, he can't make any kind of sense of them at all.

&uot;Sometimes things will just hit me,&uot; he said. &uot;It might just be the title for a poem or it might be several lines. Either way, I keep turning it over in my mind so I won't lose it before I can write it down.&uot;

Till often scribbles words, ideas, even a line or two, on whatever

is handy. Other times, he programs the words in his head until he has time to sit down and develop the idea or mesh the words.

&uot;I've had to learn to be patient with my poems,&uot; he said. &uot;You can't force words,

you just have to let them come. Learning to be patient has been hard. Sometimes, I'll write the words and know they aren't what I want. I'll have to shape them so they fit into the poem in a way that they don't lose their meaning.&uot;

For Kevin, music was the avenue to appreciation and recognition.

&uot;When you play music and sing, people understand the message of the song,&uot; he said. &uot;They'll listen and even say they like it. But, when I started writing poetry, nobody paid much attention to it. The music, they liked. The poetry . I don't know.&uot;

For a time, Till lost interest in writing poetry.

&uot;As a writer, I was invisible,&uot; he said. &uot;Nobody was interested and I wanted to quit. But, something wouldn't let me.

Writing poetry is what I like to do and what I want

to do. It's about me and how I think about things and, maybe, how things think about me.&uot;

Till was tempted to put the pen aside and go back to music to express his feelings and the way he sees the world around him. Tempted, but he didn't give in.

&uot;I just kept writing and I do it for me,&uot; he said. &uot;If others like what I write, that's great. If they don't, that's okay, too.&uot;

Till has had several poems published in newspapers and has won three awards for his verse.

His dream is to, one day, have a book of poems published, but he's not going to be disappointed if that doesn't happen.

&uot;I write poems for myself,&uot; he said smiling. &uot;And, if people don't like my poems - I can sing for them.&uot;

How It Feels

I had a heart that someone smashed.

I know that smoke can turn to ash.

So, now I feel for someone else.

It's hard for me to help myself.

Although, I'm free to foot the bill.

Oh, how it feels and how it kills.

It's only a hand that I must deal.

It's what I take with what I give.

I'm only a man without a will.

So while the pain drives me insane

That's how it is and how it feels.

So, while the pain drives me in shame,

That's how it is and how it feels.