Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Worth Doing Badly: Poetry Tuesday

Hello, all. Weigh in was bad, up another pound. That makes four in two weeks. But don't despair; resistance is not futile - I fully intend to fight back against this personal Wolf 359. But more on that as the week progresses.

Further, I do intend to take some pictures today, primarily of my office, my two parish churches, and other things. The camera's memory is limited to eleven shots unless I download between them. So, hopefully, you'll get a recap of the day tonight.

The purpose of this post is very subtle, given the title. There was a time, specifically in high school, when I wrote. More than just essays or exams; I wrote short fiction and poetry. I am sure my sister saved some of it, and while I would like to think that it was good, it probably wasn't. But in true Chestertonian fashion, I decided to get back into writing poetry. The great man himself suggested it is good to do such things not because you are good at it, but that this sort of activity is good for the man. We should be all about making something that reflects authentically our goods. So here is the first sample. Like I said, it's a work in progress but you might find some profit from it.

A quick note on inspiration: for me, poetry usually begins with a refrain, a catching phrase, a phrase that sums up the whole poem. In this case, this poem began as a conversation I was having with someone else. They threw out the line in the conversation and I ran with it. So, here it is.

Poem 1: Conversion of Conversation

Don't Go.
That's what it boils down to.
How do you come back from that?

Don't Go.
I am not who you mistake me for.
Why can't I go and do what I was meant to?

I know you want to go; you can't.
The out, the escape clause, perhaps he understands.
Why can't you see that the staying hurts?

They don't need you; we do.
Holographic memory stirs and roils, offering rebuttal.
Anger reddened faces didn't want me, need me.
Why do you?

An ugly word said of you, I have never heard.
Clearly, you haven't asked the right people.
You haven't read the long hand verse or listened sharply for the subtle curse.
Why won't you stop?

You don't see the hope you bring.
Close: I can't see hope because I have none to bring.
Hope implies a future, mutable and better - the future is set, none the better.
Why would hope spring near me?

You plan for a future the rest just don't see.
You look for a hawk and found the sparrow.
Eagle and phoenix rise with the dawn - They will not rise for me.
You can't taste the carrion savor crusted upon my lips; I hope you never do.

They just do the job.
Even that, I can't do.
Inadequacy accompanies my moves - Frankenstein is putting on the Ritz.
Isn't it clear they are just like me?

He speaks an appeal made of silence.
I just it is my turn.
Accounted for nothing, my constituent part - Those who are something took me apart.
You can't rebuild for broken spare parts, can you?

It is kind of you to say, but it has little place in fact.
Not that it matters; I can't go even if I want.
They don't want me either - I have no place.
I am not there; I am not here; I am adrift.
Who I am and what I can do will never be seen - I am a cork in the wall.
I am just here to plug up a hole. And that is my sole value.

If the truth be told, I should have seen, other folks get what they want.
I get what might have been, feast upon shadow banquets, insubstantial meals.
The others get the feast; I have the leavings be.
So you see, dear man, I am not staying as much as you are stuck with me.

Then happily stuck I will be. Some people like sparrows.


Anthony Keiser said...

I really like sparrows...especially sparrows like the one in the Hobbit, who helped bring down the dragon.

God bless you, Father.

Sean Herriott said...

I tried writing some poetry about a year ago. I couldn't tell if it was good poetry or bad poetry, because I've never understood the whole poetry thing (especially the non-rhyming variety). There's something about the economy of words that's pretty compelling/attractive/difficult, though.

Hey, congratulations on the resurrected Ragemonkey, and the reclaimation of your old URL! I'm happy for whatever small role I played in that. Blogging missed you, indeed.

By the way, great pic! You're one svelte fella now.