Inspiration comes in many forms, including life-changing events, like getting run over by a tractor at six years old.
Poet Ken Belford said it was at that point when he realized life was fragile and he took inspiration from it.
Belford's eighth book of recently-published poetry, Internodes, will be featured during a reading at Two Rivers Cafe, 1645 15th Ave., Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
"One of the aspects of what I'm writing is the intelligence of nature," said Belford. "As I lived for many years in the mountain country, I came to see that there was a grand plan."
Watching the determination of a seed to germinate and grow offered insight, he added.
"An internode, generally speaking, in terms of plant life, is that cellular part of a plant that extends to the next, whether it's a bud, or the part of a twig that splits into two," said Belford. "I read a lot of scientific documents and so out of that I take some of the thinking that goes to writing and so there are poems in the book about that."
Poetry is something a lot of writers turn to for healing, or to say something that needs to be said, he added.
"Poetry is fun, the whole creative process of writing and finding out about what I'm about today - it's a process of renewal and that's exciting," said Belford. "I have a complicated process, as I suspect many writers do. I don't really start out with an idea to write about. I assemble a number of pages of notes - and I trust in the process - it can be a word or a line or a phrase from a book, magazine or article that I've read and then I begin to open it up."
There's many rewrites, Belford said. As he's writing he said he will finesse the moment and when he returns to it, he sees the flaw.
"I would ask myself, what are you hiding from here? I would pull it up and open it up just to see what was behind my willingness not to delve into something," he said. "Poetry is great fun, the whole process of creative writing is an extraordinary thing to have in one's life. You can explore all the big questions."
Belford spent many years living by the head waters of the Nass River as a non consumptive outdoor guide, better known now as an eco-tourism guide. Over the years, he not only developed trails in the wilderness but built relationships with the First Nations people in the area and eventually helped, along with about 50 other people, to put together the Nisga'a Treaty, which took about five years.
"The Harcourt government put together a group of people who wanted to build a new relationship with the First Nations people," said Belford. "I represented the B.C. Guides Association. There were hundreds and hundreds of meetings and it was a life-changing experience."