A Poet Gathering

I had a dream about a gathering of poets. 
All anxious to see others’ work

One stretched his neck to read my scrawl but

All I had on my page was what I’d studied about

The hard work not yet done

The hoped-for work

Put off for 

The hunch that this self needed to grow up (more) in order to produce.

I awoke with my self still attached.

Come to find that its place and presence doesn’t so much need reckoned with

Other than to be taken captive and hushed

Yes, it’s already in the art by virtue of its inextricably bound contact

But this is no mystery needing solved.

That examination can (blessedly) be over.

The self need not be a major player:

Noticed, stroked, hailed for its presence among us.

It needs only to record its findings 

Is needed only to examine spaces, places, abiding mercies

And share what it’s found.

The artist’s generosity is in communicating

The gifts.

Souls have value:

Let’s not dispute that.

Questioning the validity of their voices

Wasn’t the dream

The discovery and unpacking of those voices 

As they reflect all the goodness of their Creator’s the dream.

Little mirrors co-creating in honor of the One artist.

The unexamined life may not be worth living

But that may also be true of the morbidly examined one

So intent upon its own navel that life

Is lost on it.

And this isn’t to devalue our personhood:

Rather it is the reinforcement of it.

See! and then Share! 

Have a peek at my scribbles

I’ll peek at yours

And may there be something to see:

Some connective tissue from a

Personhood all intact.

Adding to the beauty

Reflecting things true and needful

And so see the world through another lens

– His –

Ah, the dream of poets.




 Wondering if adding to the beauty

 May also take from it.

 Not always or necessarily, and thankfully not exclusively.

 But if indulging one’s craft

 Does more to contribute to self indulgence

 (And this may be a given to some degree)

 Then “adding to the beauty” 

 Is a misspeak.

 Before one satisfies one’s desire to create, or pursue, or whatever,

 There’s something of a decision:

 Will I serve them, or will I serve me?

 (One’s “craft” = one)

 If I decide to serve me (one)

 There may creep in an eventual sense of entitlement.

 And if not acknowledged and made to stand in its 

  Truthful non-entitlement place, 

 May grow – quiet-like – but insidious.

 And if not checked,

 And then if not indulged,

 The ‘I’s not indulged.

 And if the I’s not indulged

 It must be your fault.

 And if the self can convince the self it’s your fault

 – That it was somehow owed its “autonomy” 

 And not paid what it was owed –

 Then you must be punished

 – Whoever “you” are that was replaced, misplaced by my craft.

 I might not tell you.

 But quietly hold on to resentment

 (When I didn’t quiet the voice’s demands, I got to stay mad and entitled)

 Hold it, feed it, coddle it, start to act in its favor ‘stead of yours.

 And soon, there’s no beauty to be seen, 

 No pure craft to be had.

 Only I, me, my and the muddle of inanimate “craft” in my hands.