It's difficult to take an idea
and make it new;
describe an object, feeling,
situation or idea
in an extraordinary way;
use words that every other
poet has access to and somehow
build something unique;
laying down words
carefully like bricks.
Commas, semi-colons and periods
are the cement that binds,
shaping nouns, verbs
adjectives and adverbs into an
acceptable, aesthetically pleasing
and understandable poem
unlike any other.
The most important
tool a poet uses
is the window to the soul.
The poet must demolish
her heart, mind and soul
and re-build them;
this is the blueprint for
constructing a poem.
We avoid passion,
lay like empty shells,
why the other is at fault.
It takes a touch
to connote need
to waken want.
Wrapped in apathy
and self pity,
anger and pride,
we stare at walls
until dreamless sleep steals
our souls and steels resolve
to not be the first
to reach out,
to mend the breach
that spins our night
through joyless space.
I hear you stir,
now I have doubts,
I wonder if pride and obstinacy
will let me say that word,
and if I do,
does some spark remain
to reignite the passion?
But it is late --
tomorrow might be a better time --
or maybe not.
How did I come to this state?
Why do you men always ask me that
when you really don't give a damn?
You'll never see me after this one night
and ancient memories sting me still
but you've been decent to me
and I'm tired
and I've had too much to drink
so I'll tell you
My beloved John and I,
a perfect match,
from two well-to-do families.
We shared something more:
A discontent with the life we led,
A feeling there must be something more
than a world where we were rich
and everyone else poor.
And so our wedding day arrived.
Shut up in the bride's chamber,
I heard only garbled tales
of John's new friend who had brought
six huge stone jars of finest wine.
I heard John trying to come in
and my family preventing him by force.
till at length my maid entered,
weeping, with a message from John.
His new friend had convinced him
that in the new life he proclaimed
there was no place nor time for marriage.
John was going to live a chaste life,
leave his wealthy family,
follow the man from Galilee.
He said I should do the same.
Two passively subversive souls,
John and I had found life tolerable
because we could share feelings
no one else dare hear.
Now he was going to openly rebel,
go off with this stranger.
I rebelled against our families
and against John as well
by choosing this life I lead.
How is poverty? It's not so good.
How is freedom? It's not so bad.
How is sharing a bed
with a different man each night?
I soon became numbed to it
but at the cost of becoming numbed
to much of the rest of life as well.
I'd like to forget the past, but I can't.
I hear daily about that man from Galilee:
How he preaches to the poor.
How he confronts the self-satisfied.
How he cleanses lepers
and cures the lame and blind.
How he accepts everybody.
And every mention of his name
stings me with memories of that day
and the choices--right or wrong--
I have made.
Beneath the swelling turf,
building its limited house,
the blind mole moves.
Claws creep, and grope, and clasp,
displacing stones and recalcitrant clots of earth,
this way, then that,
nudging with shoulder and paw
as the neonate, drawn by fate,
embraced by forces unseen
impels its birth.
So goes the writer,
probing out paths to stand
indestructible through the dark,
with never a turning marked
but by the marker,
en route to the future,
contracted out of the past.
The beast, ordained, goes dutifully where it must,
on runways built for galloping through the night
as free, perhaps, as its air-wombed friend the bat
dividing the sky in flight
with trails both blind and austere,
but drawn in a partitive element, now, of air.
What moves the writer and his friend, the mole?
The force that leads us all,
staving off death
through the building of tunnels?
Blindly we move,
blindly we smell, and feed, and mate,
insuring that future tunnels will always be built
until the rich earth teems as a fresh-plowed field,
a patchwork quilt.
Poking above the earth we reach for light,
searching for air and the temperate warmth of the sun,
and sniff for one moment the earth-suckled flowers of life,
then drop below once more,
into the dust,
into the run.
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