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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Poet Deferred

I inherited poetry from my mother,
Who recited Keats and Dickinson from memory
To two young daughters,
Her passion adding value to their words.
Early on I discovered my own passion
For cadence and phrase,
An ability to sculpt pain,
Smoothing the jagged edges,
Carving out minute details
In monuments to human emotion.
I found I could dive into the darkness
Searching the soul for the salvation of truth,
But the darkness frightened me.
Darkness had trapped so many,
Lost to addiction, to insanity,
And fear enabled responsibility
To silence the dreaming artist.

Poetry and responsibility,
Two warring partners
In the dance of my life.
Laundry, dishes, finances,
All stepping forward to take my hand
And waltz me down the sensible path.
The dreaming artist inside
Still plays the muse’s song,
Just audible enough to haunt my days,
An endless tune I can’t escape.

Today I make my choice.
I step forward to accept
The fate cast upon me years ago:
An artist brushing loss and regret
Across the canvas in portraits of heartache,
Interpreting human frailties to share with all.
Today I decide to dance in the darkness,
Assuming the title I’ve shrugged off until now.

I am a poet.

8 comments:

Mary said...

What a special gift your mother gave you! I am glad that you are accepting the challenge and dance the dance of darkness or light, knowing that through words MUCH can be overcome! Write on.

Jinksy said...

I must say, I prefer to dance in the light for inspiration...

Kerry O'Connor said...

A lifetime of experience can only feed the poet's imagination. Inspiring words.

Marian said...

oh i love it and i so understand the struggle! thank you for this.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful! Do write through all those years of duty and responsibility. Take the time to hone your talent for you have a gift. I so related to this poem. I didnt write as much as I should have when my kids were young. Wish I had.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh yes, this is delightful. I especially love
"I discovered my own passion
For cadence and phrase"
because I remember feeling that way myself when I was young.
You are right. You are a poet. Most other people have no passion for cadence or phrase, except perhaps actors, and readers like your mother. I'm glad she read to you.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

coalblack said...

yes, you are.

Heaven said...

I hope you do take it and dance along with your words...you have a beautiful muse ~