Why I write


On another site, a challenge was issued to poets to write something to tell about how they got started writing, and why they write the way they do. I responded with the following poem which basically explains my reason for getting into this whole thing. I hope as well as explaining a bit more about me, it also makes a somewhat enjoyable read.

In those early days.
In the days when the darkness
First made itself known to me...
I remember a change overtaking me;
An emptiness, a hollow despair,
And then a terrible, sudden inadequacy
Of being me...
Of just being me.

When only days, weeks before
I had been so near to perfect -
Well, as close to what might be
Considered perfect for me,
At least as far as I was concerned.
Another birthday had come and gone
When suddenly my wife from cancer
Was taken away.
And now, at 31, my youth seemed all spent,
And suddenly, alone was I now...
Alone, facing this pain.

That was the hardest part,
The aloneness of it all,
The inability to find anyone
Whose heart, soul and ear
Was open and comfortable enough
To sit still for any length of time
Just to give me the needed shoulder to cry on
So that I might release the ever-increasing pain
from out of my system
Before it took me over for good.
So instead I said nothing
And suffered in silence.
Just letting them wonder –
And I knew they were wondering –
"What the bejeezes has got into that boy?!
He cries at the drop of a hat,
He doesn't talk to anyone anymore,
Has he said anything to you?"

Eventually, I started to look for death,
A way out - tho not by my own hands.
I would cross the street
When the light was green,
Not looking both ways,
So if somebody running a red light
Wanted to hit me, well, it was on their head!

I would jump into subway tracks for money,
Always making sure no trains were coming,
And climb out when one did.
My hope was that one day
I might slip climbing out,
But this did not happen.

It was after 4 years of this descent into hell
When I started writing.
It was a time when I started hearing voices,
On top of everything else.
Voices shouting from out of nowhere,
Voices calling out my name -
Nothing else, just my name...
And then something, I don't know what,
A message from God, for all I know,
Told me to write, just start writing.

Now I hadn't written a thing since college,
Even then I was terrible with poems.
But I set out writing...and writing...
And by God if I wasn't half-way through
With this epic poem that came from
I know not where when suddenly I looked up,
Listened and realized, the voices were gone!
Not that they never came back - they would!
In moments of darkness and solitude
They would come back, but while I wrote
I found I could keep them from calling me.
And I also learned that the more I wrote
The more I was able to lift myself from,
Or at least keep myself from sinking deeper
Into the despair in which I had fallen
So many years ago.

I learned soon enough, tho,
It was not a cure.
For there were many days when I couldn't write,
Days when nothing came to me.
And then there were the nights...
Always there would come those
Long, lonely, dark and oppressive nights
That seemed to set me back 5 days worth of writing.
But still it was something...
A glimmer of light, of hope finally
Making its way into this life where
For years there had been only darkness.

And that is the story behind
What got me started writing.
What keeps me writing now, tho,
Now that I am no longer in the darkness
And no longer hearing the voices,
Where writing as a therapeutic aid
Is no longer the necessity it once was,
Is the simple fact that it's fun.
The challenge of finding new uses for old words
And new stories using untried plot-lines
Is what writers live for,
What they would die for,
And what I constantly search for!

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byJohnboy9© 2 comments/ 4433 views/ 0 favorites

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