Source: Blog Battle 2021
January’s Prompt: “Blank”
The last time I wrote a poem, I was 13. I’ve studied and read plenty since then, written songs, and performed with spoken word, but actually penning the things that matter in the concise, lyrical format poetry offers is something that, as I grew older, seemed better left to childhood.
Until last night. Last night, I was finishing the re-write of a song that I had first composed at university and, having hit my stride with the concepts I was handling (notably those pertaining to love, loss and lessons learned over the years that were to follow), some new strands of thought began to appear.
At first, I thought it might be another song coming to me, but the ideas were too raw, too direct, and the rhythm far too enjoyable to muddy with melody. It was also possible that this might simply remain a collection of musings, and not necessarily anything more. But whatever the case, I knew that it was coming to me for a reason, so I pulled on the thread and wrote into the night to see where it might lead.
That Simple Thing
When we are born there’s some who say that we are blank as slate,
That nature pales to nurture just as good might pale to great.
To this I say they’re not half wrong, but also not half right.
Give credit to the soul that sings through every single fight.
Some say the thing that makes us what we are is how we act.
If that’s the case, then here’s opinion you can treat as fact:
I’ve faltered, failed and been more flummoxed than I’ve right to be,
But learned a lot of hard-won truths in navigating me.
Misguided, misaligned, my fears would masquerade as feeling,
And populate my hopes with fancies fit to send me reeling.
Had I but known that simple thing: that love was right when rare,
I might have lived on more than wishful thinking, dance and prayer.
My dreams once came to crash as waves of ash upon the shore,
Spewed forth unformed like molten rock evicted from my core.
Had I but known that simple thing: that what should stem from why,
I could have writ my ideals large in cloud across the sky.
Now family is something else entirely, it’s true,
A love to mind to cell connection, existential glue.
Had I but known that simple thing: that we are all apart,
I would have seen it’s not just me who needs more heart to heart.
These are a handful of the truths that I have come to know.
To seek the rest that lie ahead is where I plan to go.
I do not know where this will lead, I can but state my claim
To work at life, hold nothing back, and bid you do the same.