Listening for Movement

Photo by Hannah Nelson on

One of the reasons I save everything I write is because I feel that someday it could become something useful. Poems or free writes have sat for years and then found a line or sometimes merged with another poem or piece of writing. Other times, what I feel is ‘junk,’ will just one day ‘stick out,’ and I’ll find something unique or truthful in it that I could not see at the time. Lately, I’ve had a lot going on. I feel like I’ve had so much going on, that I’m often exhausted (doing the things I have to get done) and then there’s just ‘tiredness,’ and the joy of writing takes a backseat to something else. One of the reasons, I believe writing is a force outside myself is because then there are days when something comes to me and I literally can do nothing else but sit down and honor whatever it is that is coming to me because it’ll just wrestle with me all day until it finds it’s way into form. The joy I get from those moments reminds of how much I love to write. It’s the same thing with reading poetry. When I sit down and do it, my mind comes alive and I realize there are few things that bring me such genuine happiness and joy. This morning I was struggling. I had no intent on posting anything. I was doing ‘things that needed to be done,’ but something inside of me just kept redirecting me to ‘go to the poems.’ I pulled up a collection of poems I’d written. The second poem is a poem I wrote as I was torn between leaving my last place of residence and moving to the one I am currently in. One of the things I’ve been struggling with is whether or not to ‘sign the lease,’ on a new apartment. I reread the poem and it reminded me that I felt equally lost and confused at that time. I don’t remember it being that way, but it’s documented. I had a lot of reservations. The interesting thing is, I went to bed last night, and I was very uncertain. I woke up this morning, and I wrote my notice for this apartment first thing. Overnight, something switched and I knew I had to take a risk to move forward. Then, after meditating, the urge was so strong to ‘go to the poems,’ and I just happened to open the collection of poems that had this poem in it that I forgot I even wrote. Reading it, it reminded me that it was not a simple decision to move to this place. Today it might feel that way, but, in the moment, decisions about our lives (that nobody can decide for us) are hard. It’s not the best poem I’ve ever written, but it showed up today for a reason. Maybe there’s a decision in your life that you’re unsure of. Perhaps, someone out there will read this and it’ll signify them that it’s time to take the risk toward something that is ultimately going to make them happier in the long run. I hope so.. If I can pass a bit of reassurance on to one person, that’d be an amazing thing.

Listening for Movement

He runs through the moraines, dusted by glacial streams.
He was told once by a Medicine Man, “If you want to know the truth,
Head down to the stream and stare deep, listen.
The answer will come,
“so he stares deep into those streams.
Nothing left but to hold the wheel and drive.
He needs direction. He needs ways to make the lost go wayside.
There is nothing worse than being reminded all the dreams have arrived,
They’ve just been delivered to other front doors.
He stares in the streams and asks for a home, a place,
where maybe he can stay for a while so if a dream comes,
Someone might know where to deliver it.
He jogs home and opens a door to an apartment that smells of cardboard
Boxes everywhere, empty, ready to store nostalgia
That he doesn’t want to touch, holy relics to a life he used to have,
Reminders of the play he used to be with the possibility of endings,
That now just sound like faraway dogs barking that will never escape
The cages they have been placed in. All they can hope for is a hole in the fence line.
Perhaps, that is what the new apartment across town is,
Just the same hope of that hole in the fence line,
Where he might be able to slip under and run free to a new life,
But the empty boxes stacked by the door,
Just feel like a reminder that the boxcar fell off the track and the wheels rusted.
Still every time he hears a train, he is reminded of rumbling
Through the vast terrains, the scenic thrills life used to give.
He goes down to the water each day and looks hard and listens deep,
Hoping to get direction on how to just move forward.
So far, he watches the water just steadily being pushed forward.
He takes it as his only sign. Go with the current. Fighting it is futile.
He hopes it takes him somewhere calm and peaceful,
A lake with docks, maybe, where he can sit quietly on the dock,
Look down into the water and see a reflection of himself
Created by the sun that feels bright and warmed like a genuine smile

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