The poem I should have written basked in safety, made you spread your arms to enfold me. An old friend. That poem would be held to your warmth in comfort, secure in the knowledge we posed no threat, to you. Your narrow world view. Your careful ambition.
The poet of the poem I should have written was your favourite. Firmly in the black and white of your corner, unlike me with my shades of grey. Part of the tribe, not going to challenge any part of your familiar routine, try to shake things up, change the world.
The poem I should have written would have sold millions of books to sit in shelves, adorn greetings cards, be quoted at weddings, funerals and wherever you need something suitably generic – universal.
The poem I should have written would have won me plaudits from a million accounts on social media – not all of them bots.
That is the poem I should have written. Did I write it? No. Will I try again tomorrow? Probably. Will I succeed? Unlikely.
I am not a fan of the poem I should have written. That is unfortunate. The words of the world are too harsh on my tongue. My pen cannot speak them with conviction.
My rough edges cut through the soft wooliness of emotional panacea. Claws and beak eroding the security blanket over my cage. I struggle to stop myself from fighting the oblivion of sleep.
The poem I should have written eludes me. It would cost me something to knuckle down and write that poem. Someone else can do it. I don’t mind. They can take the fame and fortune.
I will stick to this corner of obscurity. Keep scribbling my own perceived truths. Find something that whispers to me in the dark. Until I roll over and reach for my pen. Sharp and subjective.
Try as I might, I cannot find
A better way to ease my mind.
The butterflies I chase through pasture
Do not die, but share my laughter.
Always summer, there’s no rain
I tumble down, but feel no pain.
I fall a thousand feet and swim
Up waterfalls, then dive back in.
I climb tall trees, and play at life,
It’s fun there and I’m no one’s wife.
Yes, who needs Prozac? Who indeed?
No pills could give me what I need.
This land I love, I always find
In time of need, within my mind.
And if you seek to share with me,
To ease your sorrow, misery?
You’re welcome stranger, come on in,
Enjoy this place of joyful din.
For peace and solitude in there
Are plentiful for all to share.