Monday, August 26, 2013

Poem of the Week ~ To the Depths of Whatever I Am

Kids, the Poetry Pantry is always well-stocked with goodies, and I savor every one. But when I got to this humorous poem recently about how it feels to be a poet, I knew I had found our Poem of the Week.  Dances With Vodka writes at her blog of the same name. Enjoy. This poem will make you smile.

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,
you know...
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.
Someone pushed
a roller coaster ride
Straight through my chest
and my heart is alone,
screaming in the front seat--
strapped down
by a lifetime of words

First words
Last 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
will read:
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,
"Thank You!"

Thank YOU, Dances With Vodka, for posting this humorous gem in the Pantry. Keep dancing!


  1. Good images carried me on this journey through-in-beyond the whole idea of having a leading/calling/ministry--and it being poetry. Staying warm by the burning bush.

  2. Oh wow! This is such an honor! Thank you so much!

    1. You are most welcome. I love your thoughts on being a poet. I suspect we all can relate to so much of it. But I especially love the roller coaster in the middle of your chest, and you screaming in the front row. That's as cool a description of being a poet - or just being ALIVE! - as I've ever read!

  3. Oh, I enjoyed this poem. I like especially the part about sleep not calling you any more. I can empathize with that some night. But I wouldn't trade being a poet for anything. Smiles.

  4. Lovely selection!! I enjoyed reading this poem, Sherry! Thanks for sharing....

    Dances with voka...Thanks for reminding us how we REALLY are! Smiles.You’re truly amazing! Believe it with all of your heart!:)

  5. Yes, we are an unique breed-welcome to the fold ;D
    I loved your poem-
    so fun to read!

    Congrats on your poem being chosen!
    It is great

  6. ah, great choice...def a poet that i enjoy reading and it is nice to see her spotlighted as well....

  7. Excellent choice. I really love this piece. Especially, "Someone pushed a roller coaster ride straight through my chest and my heart is alone,screaming in the front seat--strapped down by a lifetime of words." What a great image!

  8. Beautiful. This poem wins the internet for me this whole month. Breath-taking imagery and it was gales of fun to read. Awesome piece.

  9. Astute observations with which we can all identify, I'm sure! LOL

  10. Fun poem, loved reading it. And loved the name Dances with Vodka!!

  11. You picked a good one here Sherry. I so enjoyed reading it, smiling and seeing passion through the humor. What a talented poet. I must read more.

  12. What a wonderful piece! Yes, I wish I had written this!

  13. So many truths here sprinkled with wit. Love your way with words!

  14. So a fabulous write! Thank you for passing this on to all of us!!

  15. Lovely to see you all in here, kids, supporting our fellow poets. You have made my day, and now I can go to bed, quite satisfied! It is especially lovely to read your support of and welcome to some of our newer members, lately. Thank you so much from all of us at Poets United! You so rock!

  16. Excellent and delightful. Enjoyed it to the very last. Well done.

  17. I enjoyed this poem so much I will never complain about being green again.

  18. Oh, Lisa said that too. It must be true, lol.


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