I used to think you had to understand,
To know your place in history’s line,
Your form, your pace, your isocline,
And hold your past and future in one hand,
The hand that holds the pen. No more.
The pattern of art’s providence
Is far more complex, fractal, tense,
Than any art can frame or store,
And when I’ve walked through quiet pines
I’ve heard the boughs that yawned and swayed
That beauty isn’t something made
But something found between straight lines.
Hear Mozart tumble with his tune –
He knows how long to tease and tweak,
But try and numerate that feat –
Retire, and learn to play bassoon.
I wrote three thousand words today
In just two hours, to do what’s due,
Delineate some skill’s debut
And teach a child to make work play.
But that was not enough, I missed
The target I had had me aim
And have drawn out this writing game
To be the whole week’s stretching list.
What better? Suffer? Write and sob
Or inject laughter, distract noise
Forget my children, leave the boys
The girls, the classroom, drop the job?
I am one man – I have one heart –
And when I test it, stretch it out,
The pain is like a desert’s drought,
The muscle rested pulls apart.
Then only through life’s constant work
Can I find rest from doubt or debt.
There’s no relaxing here, not yet,
So I’ll pick up the pen I shirk.