It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

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It Is Not Like I Am Trying To Ditch Poetry, But Poetry Won’t Let Me Anyway

When my speaking voice
My writing prose, writer’s voice
Are released to run free into the wide open spaces of the blogosphere and the world wide web
Compressed language, brevity and pithy phrasing
Fail me
You could say I am a long-winded fool
A verbose jaw flapper, writer of long and winding words
Lover of the adverb
Repeater of things, lover of and
Funny how you swear you don’t give a twit or a flea or a flick
About what the naysayer’s say
Because
Isn’t it odd that the naysayers take up more space with their naysaying than the non-naysayers

So you go into your place where you hide all the brave
And you pull out all the tools and the stops
And you assess things, take the lay of the land
(Names have been changed to protect me)
Hold your finger high in the sky to take an opinion poll
Check the collective temperature of the crowd that you aim to please
Imagine what all the readers want to read
Second guess the lay of the land
And craft the project to fit the need

And loose yourself in the process
(Flipping through the Yellow Pages you search and opine the lack of  attorney’s who specialize in break-up’s
Between poetry and writer, writer and poetry)
Wondering if you’ve flipped a switch
Most folks would just ditch the poetry without a thought
Not even looking back

You start to write some words of the Dear John sort
Tell poetry how grateful you are to have had her help in shaping your prose
And gently console her with what would I have done without you’s
(She is a she, poetry, duh)
And you get out the hats and blowers and confetti
Send her on her way
Tell her, “Have you seen the poetry section at Barnes and Noble?”
(There is a poem about that, you can Google it, I wrote it, I should know)

Have you been in the room with people who look a hole as wide as the Hoover dam
Right through your insides when you say “Poetry”
And people with M.D.’s and degrees
And retirees and Ph.d’s and common people who are civilized and polite to the n’th degree
On all other occasions but this very one
Givers of the blank stare (they are grieving your loss of sales as they drop their jaw)
And you swear
And you swear off poetry
Well not really off, just less

Settle into the place that the naysayer’s swore was the safest bet
And the surest sure thing

The place where the agents live and thrive and the publishers always go
And then for the life of you
You decide to go down swinging
To take your beloved poetry with you
To leave no poetic child behind
To go after the one lost poetic soul
To bring every poetic voice home for a proper, oh never mind

It is not like I was trying to ditch poetry anyway
And even if I was
It won’t let me

Anyway

Look for poetry to find a place
And settle into at least a chapter or verse
Of the long-wided wind bag’s
Imaginary book of dreams
The names have been changed to protect poetry

Perhaps: A Prayer

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Perhaps: A Prayer

If I speak at just the right time
With just the right words
With well-chosen volume, tone, tenor and pitch

Perhaps
There will be an ear to hear the real sorrow in my heart
Of the one’s who bear a real generation after generation hurt

Perhaps
If I pray at just the right time, under the steeple that holds all the people
With well-chosen words
In four-walls, holy and hallowed, sacred and filled with appropriate  thee’s and thou’s

A crack in the hardness will melt a bit
Mercy and grace will find a way through it
Healing will look and find her way in

But what if I do
Much more than I have
Bearing more weight than the things that I’ve said
Imagine each of us
Able
Perhaps
To do and make change
Touch someone, reach someone
With acts of reconciliation, healing and love

Every word
Every prayer

Maybe they will be multiplied over and over again
Rippling and ebbing
Flowing from this shore to that shore
East coast and west coast
Flooded in acts of loving our neighbor
Asking forgiveness
And simply doing the one thing we all can do
Love

Love is a verb
Do justice, love mercy

Make my days matter
Multiply my remaining
Give me a heart for the hurting
And place me on roads inward to work toward
A long season of sacred healing

Take all I have
And use it for good
Amen
And amen, again and again

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