Category Archives: Poetry

I Need to Tell Myself (poem)

What I Need to Tell Myself

 

I need to tell myself the following:

 

First, I need to tell myself to take life one day at a time

Because today is all I have to work with

 

I will tell myself not to let the past gnaw on my ass

Or worry about a future that hasn’t happened yet

A future that probably won’t happen the way I imagine it will

 

I need to tell myself I made it through the day

Because I woke up with a roof over my head

And I was able to put food in my belly

And my car didn’t break down

And I had money when I needed it

And my pets didn’t barf on the floor

 

I need to tell myself I can change my future plans

Because they haven’t happened yet

I can tell myself it’s okay to let anxiety and bullshit play out

And it’s okay to sleep in a little

 

I need to tell myself to focus on doing things I want to do

To focus on projects that are deep in my heart

 

And most of all

I need to tell myself not to think about what people might say

When I break my silence

And tell of my changes in plans

Because it doesn’t matter why it takes so long to do something

Nor do I owe anyone an on-the-spot explanation

 

I don’t need to bow my head in shame

Or stand up with attitude

I just need to get through today

And know that changes can always be made

 

Guts to Change

Guts to Change

 

I know I need to have the guts to change

I need to find the courage to change my life for the better

Despite not having a lot to work with

And most of all

I need to find the courage to stand up to Fear

 

I need to find the courage to stand up for myself

I need to find the courage to stand firm in the face of criticism

No matter how well-meaning

I need to find the courage to tell myself I’m not a worthless idiot

 

I know I’m not perfect

I know I don’t know everything

But neither does anyone else

I need to push myself harder than I ever have

And if someone doesn’t like that

I just need to ignore them, and not engage them in any way

I know this is an old fear

But it is a fear that refuses to die

 

I need the freedom to write what I want to

Then find the pattern to put it all together

I need to do things without worrying about what someone might think

I need to tell myself I can not only survive

But that I can thrive

And that I can do it in an unconventional way

 

I tried to live a conventional life

A nine-to-five sit-down job with all the bullshit that came with it

And all I got in return were back problems that might have disabled me

So I have no regrets about walking away from that old life

 

So now I write poetry to think out loud

And I want to record my poetry for the world to hear

And I want to write social commentary

Individual pieces to get thoughts and feelings out

Maybe someday they’ll go into a book

A book of commentary on society, politics, religion, and other topics

My intention with this commentary is not to upset

So I’m still trying to figure out how to write it out

I will work my ass off to write well

To edit well

To focus and keep the profanity to a minimum

 

I will also go out on the road more

Hustle more for money

I will battle my seasonal allergies with lots of peppermint and water

And I will succeed

 

For although I’ve needed this time to rest and reflect

I know I can’t do that forever

I need to write

I need to hustle

And I need to make my dreams come true

And not let my somewhat mythical fears hold me back

For as I think the thought of ‘what will someone think’

I need to tell myself that thought is bullshit

If someone has an opinion about my life they can tell me

What I do with it is up to me

 

But to be honest

I live and work mostly in silence

On my own and out of everyone’s way

It’s not always what I want

But I’ve done it for so long I don’t know how much I can change

I want to believe change is possible

But I also fear that change could be upsetting

It’s not like I’m out to break the law

Or rain on someone’s parade

I just want to be a writer-gypsy someday

And to get on that road I need to make this writing of mine happen

And if changes need to be made

I need to make them without silence

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I feel better after I write and poetry comes pretty easy to me as it’s just a stream of thought that I can lay out line-by-line. It can give me reference points that I can then go into more detail about.

So here goes:

The blog went silent because I couldn’t come up with an entry for the so-called ‘political book’ project. And when I began to avoid that project like the plague I had to go silent and think through to why that was.

I realized I don’t want to limit myself to just one topic and if I focused on just politics and crafting political arguments I’d be regurgitating a lot of what’s already been said. I realized I wanted to do something different, and I also realized I needed the freedom to just write and then once I began to see a pattern to look at putting it altogether at some point in the future. The term ‘social commentary’ came to my mind and it hasn’t left. In the past, I’ve written on just a single topic sometimes prompted from a news item or something like that and it worked well for me.

Now I’m sure someone reading this might wonder why that’s not the case with the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ project despite that being much more personal. I’ve done a lot of writing in the vein of ‘Breaking…’ even though the vast majority of it has been deleted into oblivion. But the work has been done where the ‘political book’ book project hadn’t been. So the individual pieces of ‘social commentary’ that I’m now calling this are the work I need to do to get that project to come together.

I will also freely admit here when I do go silent from the writing a lot of old fears rear their ugly heads and I have to confront them, too. Yes, I do go silent when I’m trying to deal with things but that’s just what I’ve always done and like old habits, that silence will die a hard death. And right now, it’s still got some considerable life in it. I’m sorry for the slightly gruesome imagery but the good news is that this bout of silence was nowhere near as bad as what happened over the summer months. I don’t think I’ll ever get that down again because I did make it out of there and now know what to look for to stay out of that place.

So here I am back in the saddle after falling off my horse. And now I’m looking for the guts to change things for the better in my life.

Catching Poetry

Earlier this year I began writing poetry after not writing it for more years than I can remember. When I was around twelve years old I filled spiral notebooks with poetry and entertained ideas about becoming a songwriter-lyricist before I moved into fiction. I enjoyed writing poetry and when I began writing it again this year I wondered why I stayed away from it for so long.

Well, when I began posting it online in a writers’ group I belong to, I was ridiculed and bullied by a fellow member. And I let this bully silence and shame me because I didn’t want to upset the group dynamic. I didn’t have the courage to speak out against how terrible I felt for what he was trying to do to me. Now he’s out of my life and that group and I’m forever grateful for that.

I will not let anyone silence me again for whatever I write. I enjoy writing poetry and will share it here and elsewhere. I have discovered not only a love for writing it, but I’ve also discovered that it’s a good way for me to organize my thoughts from the sometimes-maddening whirl of them in my mind.

But to pay tribute to Monty Python here, I’m glad I caught poetry again. For poetry isn’t like an STD or anything else you don’t want to catch. It’s something you do want to catch and keep.

January 18, 2018

Catching Poetry

 

I write to say I may have caught poetry

I would rather catch poetry than a cold or the flu

I would rather quote a great Monty Python skit than be without poetry

 

It is fun to write verses

Even if they don’t always rhyme

 

Oh my, this is the third poem I’ve written in the last three days

Now I know I have caught poetry

And I don’t want to let it go

 

For poetry does not give me a scratchy throat

Or a stuffy head like my allergies do

It does not exhaust me to write

Nor is it hard to edit

 

Have fun with poetry, I say

Let the words flow

Read them out loud to find the perfect rhythm

Because I believe anyone can write poetry

If they just listen for the words

 

And though some of us are able to put them onto paper

(or a computer screen in my case)

Or even find the courage to share them with the world

I believe poetry is within all of us

 

For the world needs poetry, like it needs all of the arts

It is joy and pain, thought and feeling

It is the human experience in us all

 

I am forever grateful I have caught poetry

And I will never let it go