While I write, however, life goes on and other deadlines pop up, one of which is my weekly column. Every Wednesday, I leave Peri and her friends to write 600 words on Some Other Topic. It makes one feel a little distracted.
And when I went to Sonny Boy's choral concert last month and heard the beautiful words set to music sung by beautiful voices, I felt pulled to compose a poem of my own. I used to write poetry, in my angsty youth--all Rod McKuen, free verse, in a kind of yearning cadence. Whining. Let's just call it what it was. Teenage whining wasteland.
When Sonny Boy first went to kindergarten, his teacher had them keep a journal, where they would draw a picture, and she would help them write a sentence underneath it. Each day had a kind of topic. Something You Like. Your Favorite Game. What You Eat for Breakfast. Whatever.
The first day's topic was, I Feel Like... Marcus drew a spectacularly hot mess, spirals and curls and jagged lines, all in black crayon. Underneath, the teacher had written what he dictated: "I feel like a tornado."
That's pretty much how I feel at least once a day lately. The politics, the environment, the constant battening down of my hatches I need to do to keep Fear away from my door. My own advancing age. The storm seems relentless.
But I am an optimist. I am eternally looking for light, smelling the roses, tasting the wine. As dark as Life gets, I look for the Escape hatch in the corner. I see shards of light poking through. And so my poem took the form of my darkened world and the sunlight that infiltrates it.
I spent a few days worrying about the structure and theme and was it any good at all. And then I decided, screw structure and theme and goodness--it felt good to write it. I considered each word, each line, and made them mean something TO ME. It was MY expression. The "goodness" of it was in its creation.
I'm going to share it with you, not because it's good or I'm so proud, but because I am Creator and I Created, and everyone should share that piece of them. Do not fear. Share your work with the world. Let them see you.
By Gayle Carline
Clouds fold across the sky
A blanket tucks in the land
Snug as a bug in a cliché
Hills are dark
All is hidden
Sleepy eyes at rest
Pop—what was that?
The clouds thicken, rumble, roar
Hands raise, a-tremble
Thru the grey mist
It holds no weight
Keeps no shape
Yet holds fast
Beyond the gloom, something comes
A shard of light, a glint, a ray
Slender as a cactus prick
One small hole, one punch
The blanket frays
Exposing the bright
Digging in the corners
The clouds sit heavy, stubborn
The sun is coming.
Bring the warmth
Bring the truth
Kick the covers off.
* * * * *
I guess I'm trying to say, write what you want, when you want to. It doesn't have to be good--it has to be yours.