The Sum of My Many Writings…

…might come down to six lines of a poem that came out of a prose piece nearly five years ago.

The prose piece was on something or other I do not remember. I was writing a lot in those days,  most mornings and many nights, because I had spent nearly fifty years reading by then. You cannot read for a half century, tens of thousands of pages a year, each year, without one day thinking you should do that too.

So, I started to string sentences together, watch my grammar, guard my punctuation, feel the feelings the words painted on the screen, without benefit of an empty page (a thingness) before me. I wrote on screen, kept journals, listened to every story people chose to tell me, searched my own memory to recall my people. By my people, I mean the ones who belonged to me but, mostly, I sought to retrieve the ones to whom I once belonged.

One day I wrote this prose piece. I remember I wanted to target 2,500 words, which is a lot on screen in one piece in a blog. Blogs were initially expected to be long tweets, though blogs came first, at least to me. In this long forgotten prose piece one short paragraph repeatedly called me. I checked it for spelling, punctuation, grammatical errors and sheer stupidity.

After the third trip back to look at this one segue paragraph, stubby, supple, bitter-sweet, I did what all writing teachers tell a writer to do. I brought it out from behind my eyes and let it fall off my tongue, so my heart could hear what my fingers thought.

And, it was a poem, not doggerel, a real poem, only six lines, but expressive, free and freeing.

I’ll give it back to you on Monday. Happy days.

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