Art as a discipline extends to many pursuits, among them are music, dance, drama, creative writing, painting and sculpture. SoMi Magazine continues its focus on those who share their artistic talents with the community.
In our continuing series about those involved in the creative arts, we spend some time with Miami writer and poet, Rob Ziebro.
One of his most recent authored poems follows the article;
others may be found on somimag.loc.
Rob Ziebro is a deeply private man who lets you into his world through his poetry and prose. His world is one fashioned by physical pain, self-discovery, and enlightenment. For Rob, like so many creative people, his craft is often his comfort.
Beginning his life story at the age of 17, he speaks haltingly about the “accident” that would determine his life’s path. He and a high school friend were drunk and hopped into Rob’s Austin Healy for a ride around their home town of Rochester, New York. Believing himself to be too incapacitated to drive his own car, he gave the keys to his friend. Rob failed to realize that his friend was in no shape to drive either. The car crashed. The friend walked away without a scratch. Rob landed in the hospital.
“I had a fractured skull and plenty of other broken bones. I was in a coma for two weeks, my legs were paralyzed, and I missed five months of school,” said Rob.
The next couple of years were marked by the physical and emotional pain of recovering from extreme trauma. Through intense physical therapy he learned to learn to speak and to walk again. By reading voraciously, he embarked on a course to self-understanding that got him beyond the taunting and teasing from his classmates (who nicknamed him “Zero”). No lover of organized religion, Rob believes the “Catholic church-inspired guilt” he suffered about the accident hampered his ability to heal for a
very long time.
He attended Rochester Institute of Technology and spent a summer in Greece. It was here that he paid homage to one of his favorite philosophers, Socrates, gaining more insight into philosophy. It was here that he wrote his first poem,
By the beginning of his junior year, he left college. He traveled, living in Florida, Colorado, California and finally Washington (for 14 years). He studied transcendental meditation, metaphysics, and mysticism. He held jobs like selling shoes, driving a hotel limo, and landscaping. He also got modeling and acting gigs. Through it all, he kept writing. Acting was exciting, but finally writing won out as his primary creative pursuit.
Things changed again in 2000 when Rob’s father became ill. Rob left Washington and came to Miami to take care of his father.
“Believe it or not, I sold cars for four months once I got here.
That job was against everything I believed in,” said Rob.
Thanks to his sister, Rob was able to get a job interview with the head of horticulture at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. He has been with the Garden for about 14 years.
His work at Fairchild is a fulfilling piece of his life: finding happiness and self-satisfaction is manifested in his lifelong compulsion to help others understand what is complex in the world. At the Garden he achieves this by contributing to a “great experience” that educates the public. In his writing, he achieves this by revealing the importance of enlightenment gained through meditation.
Rob Ziebro can be contacted via email at: [email protected].