Flash Fiction #4: That Simple Thing

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.

Published by Kit

Hi, I'm Kit: Life Coach, Writer, Performer; Multipotentialite.

9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #4: That Simple Thing

  1. Beautiful sentiments, elegantly presented. I really like the idea of a poet, stating their truths as they’ve come to know them, and then facing forward, confident that there are still truths to learn, and that they are capable of learning them. It’s an essentially hopeful piece, at least the way I read it, and hope seems particularly precious right now. Thanks for sharing your lovely poem. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad I was able to. And you’re definitely reading it the way I intended it. If there’s any regret in there, it’s coloured by the relief that these are lessons it doesn’t have to take our whole lives to learn, and by hope. Forward-facing commitment to all that is yet to come. Thanks for stopping by!


    2. Hope is honestly one of the few precious things that have kept me upright and in motion these last couple years. Like love. Both, things you can share with others without running out of them yourself. Both, things that actually get stronger the more you share, but wither when they have no place to go.

      So it’s clearly good to have this place 🙂


  2. Nice broad appeal that many people could probably relate to. We thought we knew so much when we were younger, and now that we’re older realize how much we don’t know – and that, as they say, is wisdom. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The many lessons that we think are unique to our experience are more often than not shared by a good proportion of society. Always good to be reminded of the things that connect us. Thank you for the feedback!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This last stanza:
    “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.”
    What a great summation! The cadence and hopeful feel of the piece merged well, and I think you’re right about the exerpeince being nearly universal. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We live, we learn. That’s for sure. Some more than others. Well expressed.
    I was in bed last night when lines just started coming to me. I waved them away. Now, I regret it as I think they actually were good. Proof right here that you need to act on it when the words appear!


    1. I know the feeling! Despite having supposedly learnt that lesson myself, staying up at times to scribble ideas or record whispered voice notes, I’ll still make the mistake from time to time. Proof also that we live, we learn, and live and learn again.

      Take the words of my poem, for instance. Aye, they may be expressed here, but that initial action alone isn’t enough to make them truly lasting. Only by revisiting the words and recommitting to their lessons can I keep them alive.

      Besides, there’s always more to learn.

      Liked by 1 person

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