Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Poet is not Poetic

A poet is not poetic

poets are the most un-poetical creatures

confounded and confused by their own minds

struggling to create,

not realizing it must come as freely as leaves to trees

A poet is not poetic

words come quickly, the wrong ones

in conversations with ones we admire or adore

besieged by thoughts

unbidden burdens to share a world of our own invention

A poet is not poetic

revealing wonders

unspoken yet frightfully implied

the secrets of hearts and heads

in black and white for all the world to see.


So what is it that you want? What’s your dream? A friend of a few years asked me those questions, and I didn’t have a proper answer. So I thought about it and said “Out of life, a home, a husband, a career that doesn’t make me hate people, or my life. Happiness. And I know happiness can’t be bought, but money can be used to make decisions and choices that add to or detract from our happiness.”

That’s not good enough she said. What’s your real dream? What gets you up in the morning and keeps you going through the day? Pure steam I thought, caffeine, the desire not to die…

I don’t know, I finally said, I don’t remember my dreams.

And that made me think of the Hughes poem, ‘A Dream Deferred’.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

And I thought about my dreams and my life and was more than unhappy, more than unfulfilled… I was diseased, distressed, angry and saddened more than any other time in my 30+ years. I cried, and I hate crying. I allowed my dreams to die, I allowed my life force to just disappear, unlike Hughes’ dreams mine disintegrated, dissolved, and died a quiet and slow death like cancer. And I hadn’t realized it until questioned about it. Why? How? When? When did this start? And why didn’t I realize it? And more importantly can I resurrect them? Can I be whole again?

Whole again...? Can we really be whole, when our dreams have died? Not the fleeting dreams of childhood, for ponies or puppies, for cookies and candy, but the life affirming, purpose driven dreams we…I’ve apparently ignored in favor of paying the bills and not starving. Can you recover discarded dreams?