Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Real Poet

For the Random Act of Poetry (RAP) at the High Calling Blogs last week, managing editor L.L. Barkat provided a prompt for the next Rap: "The Real _____." It could be The Real Noah or Cleopatra or whatever you might choose to fill in the blank. Poetry's been on the mind a bit lately; we had another poetry slam last night on Twitter; so here's my contribution for the RAP.

The Real Poet

All ministry begins at the ragged edges of our own pain.
-- Ian Cron, Chasing Francis

Appearance: of quiet.
Silence, assumed to be
With, perhaps,
A slight touch of arrogance.
You know too much.
You do too many
Things well.
But more a silence
Of understanding,
Deep and prophetic,
Afflicting the comfortable.
Corporate rebel.

Substance: of doubt,
Self, faith, friends, God.
Not defining,
Not lasting,
But sparked by
A question, look,
An exclusion;
Tempered by
The gift of faith
In the face of doubt.
All these contradictions.

Substance: of longings.
A father’s touch,
A friend’s voice
A spirit’s breath
If ever so slight.
A walk through wilderness
Is not solitary,
After all.

Substance: of words.
Shape-shifting tools
Of prophets,
Liars and kings.
Words for mouths
And ears,
Words to herald,
Words to remember,
Words to persuade
Or give the impression
Of persuasion.
Words to bury,
Words to apologize
Without admission;
Words to admit
Without apology.
A life constructed
Of constructed words.

Then, new words,
A new way to lay
A road to Golgotha,
The street of sorrows
Paved with sharp,
Tearing stones
That bruise and
Pierce and hurt.
Words that redeem
Even a poet.


L.L. Barkat said...


"Silence, assumed to be

And all the cool stuff about how words can act clandestinely. And the redemption of the poet.

And, and, and.

Your poem quiets me.

Anonymous said...

from a page of light, words silently reach out and pull pictures from my being.

Maureen said...

Love the Cron quote.

Words like the conversations we have with ourselves, one pushing/pulling, one giving in: "A walk through wilderness/Is not solitary/after all"

Perhaps poets are the equivalent of the King's fool?

Favorite lines: "Silence, assumed to be/Acquiesence" and "Words that redeem/Even a poet". The word "Even" absolutely necessary to make that line work.

Wonderful writing.

Anonymous said...

Glynn - I am always so surprised by how you poets can so quickly and beautifully pull these poems together, with words full of layers and layers of meaning and just sheer beauty all by themselves, even without the meaning behind it. I actually felt my foot hurting as I read the last stanza.

Very nice. Layers and layers of nice.