A spoken word poem
We have been given a gift,
Not a cheap one from the thrift store,
No, this one is worth so much more.
You can’t buy it with what’s in your purse cause this gift is called verse.
It doesn’t have to be the rhyming kind,
In fact, the best thing about this gift is that you can find
If you want to know what this gift is all about just take a knife,
Cut away to the core and you’ll find what is really the gift of life.
To quote from a dead poet, and say it with me if you know it
“That you are here – that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
If this is the point of life, and if life is verse
I want so much of it I’ll be ready to burst,
So I’ll listen
to what the great Walt Whitman
Because contributing a verse to the great play is an honour,
And come what may I’ll get the most out of every hour.
But this isn’t the Dead Poets Society, that movie
Where Robin Williams, my he R.I.P,
Had us standing on our desks saying O Captain, My Captain
as we pondered those words in Latin:
No, we are the living, and actions speak louder than words,
And as such we are charged not merely to emulate, But to be great for the uniqueness of our own verse.
Let’s not waste the gift.
I want my verse to be a long one, full of glorious battles won,
And I want to triumph over the many adventures I line up before me.
But just like in the story of Don Quixote, that brave champion of long lost knight errantry,
sometimes those windmills just get you down.
But I’ll take a page from Cervantes and won’t let my verse gloss over the loss
because it’s in those times, when a windmill beats me to my knees, that my will is set free and sees
that my verse is not a standalone.
This epic poem I contribute to is like a body, not made up of one bone but many.
We are connected you and I and with every rhyme we share we become more and more aware of the power our verses possess.
Together we charge and best those windmills and see they were just mole hills all along.
This great anthology of verses we’re creating would lose all meaning if we suddenly started to publish individually.
My verse flows better with yours beside it.
My verse is full of emotions; it’s not just about going through the motions
but truly feeling the rise and fall of every wave.
There’s the wave called anger, dark, raw and sinister; the epitome of a knave.
It comes crashing down upon me after I’m left feeling forgotten so quickly.
Cast aside, out of sight out of mind.
But I can’t ride that wave for long. I’m not that kind of surfer.
And every time I think of her, no matter how much I want that wave to engulf me
I see her face, I see her smile and I hear her laugh
and all the while I remember those first butterflies, like a thousand monarchs fleeing the skies.
Anger never stood a chance.
And although it feels like I’ve suffered a blow from Quixote’s mighty lance
I’ll embrace it
because the life blood of verse runs through a vein called pain
And you can hold the hearse cause I’ll be alright. The pain will make my verse shine bright.
Not because pain and anger are right, but because they offer a contrast for the light,
And how could we ever understand the beautiful radiance of the sun if we didn’t have the darkness of the night?
My verse is meant to affect change. A difficult endeavour that will never cease to test its range.
It’s one that fights to turn wrongs into rights and erase the blights left by a broken system.
The cynics laugh and call it misguided idealism,
an arrogant sense of heroism.
They call me a pawn of neo-liberalism.
Personally I’ve never cared much for isms.
Conservatism, Marxism, Capitalism…
I can go on and on but these isms have never done anything but create schisms that tear us apart at the seams.
But it seems to me that when we rise above it all and have the courage to call BS,
We see they’re nothing but titles.
And the only title I ascribe to is Love.
The only emotion worthy of being this verse’s meter.
I love because first I was loved
By the Prince of Peace himself, that beautiful dove,
By the One who is Love.
So you can keep your isms cause my verse refuses to take the time to dignify them with another rhyme.
So there you have it, a snippet,
Of my yet unfinished verse.
And though there’s no way of knowing what’s to come,
What’s in the past gives me some
There will be adventure, of that I can be sure.
And where that brings joy so pure,
It also means I’ll never have to borrow someone else’s sorrow
because that’s just how verse works.
But when I finally get off the rollercoaster and head home
I will know I’ve lived,
not as one who takes lines from others to complete his rhymes
but as one who’s made up his own.
My pen writes with such valuable ink
That I’ll never want to think
Of changing a thing.
So now’s the time to bring
This prose to a close
“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
Life is a sweet, sweet drink, my friends,
So let’s never lose the thirst.