Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Poets Purpose

Recently a friend asked me why I write. "What need does it fill?" He asked.
All of my years have passed in relative quietness. I have never had a life of burning and pillaging; of running out into the street and taking what is mine. I have never been one to stir up, by force, the bitter soup. I have never been extremely articulate - my metaphors have never been precise, like knife-tips, poking readers through new holes in the fabric of understanding. We all stand about, including myself, with hands limp at our sides, wondering at the gravity, beauty, and simplicity of life. I have made a few small ticks of the pencil in my journals about such things. I have forgotten them all in time.
Why am I here now, in a coffee shop, pressing my spirit outward to that distant island shore - over many waters that most wont even acknowledge as existent? Can some men exist solely to be beautiful to a few? For beauties sake? Must all beautiful fruit have a bite, have a poison center, that shakes the lover into death throes of pleasure? I don't want to kill or to die quite so hotly. "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light"? Why? Can a man who trusts God simply enjoy a few people - kiss the foreheads of a few people, throw a few homing pigeons into the evening sky, and try not to let the blink of fear cloud his faith in the light?
Why am I here? Why have I spent the last few hours writing and reading poetry? Poetry says what I say "The world is beautiful, and we are all going to die". This is the song of poetry. I feel it now in my stomach, in my eyes, in my groin. It is joy and pain.
Christ says "Come follow me, all you who are weary of flailing about in the dark, looking for light. For my yoke is easy. My burden is light - pure beams of evening light, cut, swathed in white fabric, lifted lightly onto his shoulders by the red birds of faith.
All of my poetry is spilling into these paragraphs that no one might read.
Is it okay? Lord, show us hopelessness, again, and show us the brightness of the hope that you've offered to us.
Find us, as Ezekiel says, flailing in our own blood, and teach us to grow.

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