I haven’t been doing much writing lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking but that’s nothing more than just internalizing all of my thoughts and not giving them space to breath. Today, as I was out cycling, I began thinking, once again internalizing, about what it is that is keeping me from actually writing. I think it’s because I have yet to come to terms with being retired. I just don’t feel retired, I don’t yet have any grasp on the intricacies of retirement. I have been actively engaged, either as a student or a worker, for the better part of my life and now here I sit trying to sort out what this all means. So much has happened in the last few months, leaving Trinity, then selling our home in Melrose, moving to Delaware and finding a new home here in Smyrna, which I still haven’t gotten used to, yet. Now, the season of Advent is almost upon us and I have nothing to prepare for, no services, no annual Christmas fair, no visits to be made, no Christmas pageant to prepare, I just sit here while “Church” happens. To be honest, I miss Trinity, I miss the people, the activities the whole community and yet, I needed to leave, it was time. It doesn’t mean I have to like leaving, but it does mean that I now need to refocus my energies. The good news is that in a couple of weeks I will be taking a retreat up at Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York. This retreat is actually a poets retreat, a time to get away and in the silence and solitude of the monastery to help me to get some perspective, not only my poetry but all of my writing efforts. Stories are everywhere and I do have stories to tell, I have poetry to write and so much stuff rolling around in my head that if I don’t write it will burst out anyway. One thing I need to do is get back into the GrubStreet mode, write everyday, don’t worry about being perfect, just write. That poem lurking back there among other thoughts that litter my mind, go ahead and write that also, stop worrying, no one is perfect. Take that chance, write that story, set down those internal thoughts on paper or in this case, the iPad, and allow it the space to grow in the light instead of festering in the backwash of the mind. Maybe, if I write down these thoughts, it I take some time to explore them as they take shape on the pages, then I might just discover something about myself that has lain in the dark for so long.
My desk is littered with half read books
journals that I have barely scanned
bits and pieces of sermon notes
and reminders to myself to do something.
On my iPad there are unread poems
that I intend to get to as soon as I can
but there is always something else,
a death this week, a crisis of faith next.
I intend to write more poetry and prose
I want to reveal the inner fears and dreams
yet, those old voices creep shouting
and my own ego is much deflated
as I would rather seek a place away
somewhere deep in the enchanted woods
where I may lay my head and dream in color.
Away from all of the mechanical noises
that burrow into the skull polluting the mind
and overwhelming my ability to just be.
I look now at this poem, this small offering
above it another half written poem awaits.
Deep down I know I want to write
deep down fear crowds out creativity.
Where do I go from here?
How do I end this poem?
Maybe that’s the answer,
no poem is ever really finished
no poet can ever sit back satisfied
the world is so full of darkness
and I hold a palette of vibrant colors
as I seek to paint with the words I see
streaming across the subconscious
like wild horses running across the plains
unfettered, unafraid, untamed and free.
I should have wrote a poem today
I did start on a couple of thoughts
but I didn’t get very far with them
my mind was just not ready to work
to try and find those perfect words
that would make it all a poem
one of those clever poems
that speak to the human condition
and can change the hearts of many
but today, I’m just not there
the words are like roaches
that scatter when the light is shed.
So, I didn’t write a poem today
I sat, I read, I jotted notes
but no poetry was written today.
Within the emptiness
that deep void
where light and sound
are muffled and blocked
is where I reside
in the present moment.
The words are many
that revolve around
that I sense lays out there.
I reach in to grasp
but come out empty handed
unable to fully come to terms
as logical people do.
I’m not that logical
my mind lives in a fog
a flurry of words
mixed with deep feelings.
Love, is my only recourse
yet even that seems lost
in the diatribe raining down
flooding my deepest senses.
I write in this emptiness
as the fog surrounds me
and hope the words suffice
to bring healing to my heart
in the silence of my soul.
There comes a time
when it just won’t come
I sit and think and try
to write some witty lines
they just don’t materialize.
Some call it writers block
or a dry spell in the mind.
It does happen to us all
a period of groping
of digging deep into the well.
It’s like a fog laying heavily
along the landscape
pressing down upon trees
obscuring ones vision.
The bright colors muted
the patterns indiscernible
the words buried in dark graves
as silent as phantoms
I sit here, waiting,
my heart pounding,
as I hear blood rushing.
the door is closed,
the interior bare.
All I see are fragments,
potsherds of thoughts,
scattered along the edges.
I look intently,
will the pieces gather?
I struggle, weighed down,
unable to see,
the beauty in the words.