I can't remember
the first time I was called a poet
or by whom;
Though I do recall
something within me sank
to the depths of whatever I am
That's an intense responsibility,
Do I even have a choice in this matter?
Or is this like a given name,
stamped on my birth certificate?
Did I check the box on my driver's license:
"Will donate organs, blood,
observations of life and the human spirit"
If this was given: Why me?!
If this was chosen: Was I drunk?!
We won't even discuss
whether or not I must
or must not be great--
Or if I can just keep it simple
on the surface,
and rhyme about the food I ate;
All that, and my pride aside--
It doesn't even matter.
a roller coaster ride
Straight through my chest
and my heart is alone,
screaming in the front seat--
by a lifetime of words
Words soaked in late evening summer sheets
Words stuck in traffic
Words naming babies
Words Coming Home
Kind words, apologizing
for the wrong that other words have done.
Words needing someone.
Some frogs complain about being green
So I shoved some black and blue pens
in a bindle,
and headed out to trade them,
with hopes that I can leap over this crazy scene
Do you know how many poems
a poet can give birth to?
And some don't even grow up to fit their name.
I never got my body back
after that first stanza.
My head feels like a thesaurus's bloated twin.
And I'm poet-tired
from all these early lyric cries
and midnight feedings.
Sleep doesn't call me anymore--
won't even spend the night on a weekend,
or admit that we had something once.
This is rarely a day at the beach
But I'm forever shaking off the sand,
And even if I don't leave my pages
out in the sun--
aging lines appear,
and rhymes form
like freckles everywhere.
Staring at this mirror,
through young, but weary eyes--
I can only surmise,
that one day,
my hands will cramp
and not recover,
finger tips still stained,
prints leaving evidence of passion,
and the tumult of a mind gone mad;
And there is very little doubt,
that on their way out
those final words
Oh, God! Why me?
But there is fire in fear;
A bright secret
slips through parting clouds,
and a voice
cowering beneath a soft sheet of breath,