Posted: November 18, 2010 in Burn Poetry
Tags: , , , , ,

I have friends who want to be politicians.
They say it sheepishly.
With shoulders shrugged
or eyebrows raised
they prepare for sneers and ridicule.
For judgment.
So they toss an iron vest of mail
over their shoulders.
Their hearts.
It protects them from the slings and arrows
but it grows heavy.
It grows cumbersome.
Until they shed the mail and shed the
toss aside aspirations
into the barren
ditch alongside their paths
leaving them amongst the dust and pricking tumbleweeds.

I have friends who want to be artists.
Want to snatch a moment
from a world of ever-ticking clocks
and hold it,
grant it immortality.
They admit this with a sigh.
With a, “. . .but in reality. . .” or an
“. . .until I have the money for. . .”
They fasten themselves in
cinch straps tight over
their hearts
as they ready for a head-on collision
with a world of boundaries and borders.
But the straps restrain;
They chafe and cinch,
about their necks until they unstrap;
unbuckle from the ride
leaving a shell, abandoned at the edges of thought.

I have friends who want to write;
to answer Ginsberg’s echoing howl,
bay at December moon,
a pack of wild, rabid creators.
But they say this with a puzzled frown
ever-weighing wants against needs on an
imbalanced scale.
Their scale teeters and wavers
quavers in mid-air and pauses in mid-sentence.
This balancing act, a marathon of equilibrium
drains their will,
pumps defeat from their hearts
to limbs and to minds.
Until, wearily, pen fills with iron.
Ideas rust over.
The weight becomes too much.
They rip paper from book,
rend pages from mind and
pen crashes to the floor.

But when do they,
when do we,
backtrack to our dreams;
dig our heels into the sandy ground,
as the current rushes onwards pushing at our backs,
and pull a smart-stepping about-face?
With each whirling second hand’s smooth
lap of clock
present becomes past
and future bears down on us all.
Create now.
Change now.
Write now, right now.

Pick the lock on our cuffs,
be the ideal politicians you dreamed of as a child.
Be that senator, president or delegate
that leaves behind the clouded, hazy disdain
borne for politicians.
Let the oily waters of corruption and broken promises
bead and roll off you,
Wrest control
with clean hands and full hearts
and give a nation of cynics,
gasping for truth,
a lungful of belief.

Show those who believe our fingers are
too-glued to keyboards, eyes too-affixed to YouTube
for masterpiece creation.
Let shutters close on life’s sublime
and brush steal breath
from awe-struck patrons.
Let your art change lives.
Even your own.
Close once-opened fingers
into a steely grip on once-lost dreams.

Pick up the pen once more.
Use it to sear your words,
onto page.
Let your fingers dance across keyboards,
as pianists on ivory.
Catch the gusting winds of creation and soar.

Let pen be sword and slay the mundane,
strike fear into average talents
and those resting on laurels.
It is our time.
No more shrugs,
or doubts,
or abandonment of ideals.

We rise together.


  1. Sue Tolles says:

    wonderful. Will you, write? Will you follow your dreams? I sincerely hope so.

  2. Jingle says:

    Let pen be sword and slay the mundane,
    strike fear into average talents….

    I truly like your writing here,
    confidence, talent, and knowledge are evident in your words.
    thanks for sharing!

    visit me to see if you are interested in attending my poets rally,
    link in a poem, visit and comment for a minimum 18 poets, done.
    poetry awards are given after you complete.
    welcome in any time before Sunday.

  3. Glenn says:

    You should do it Chris.

  4. Beautiful, like you sliced through the ethers and found me here:
    They fasten themselves in
    cinch straps tight over
    their hearts
    as they ready for a head-on collision
    with a world of boundaries and borders.
    I am grateful to read your words on the poetry rally this week!

  5. Now we rise together. Well done. Many points made and brought together cogently. Kudos!

    Am here from Jingle’s Thursday Poets Rally. Poem on …

  6. […] Rise « Burnpoetry: A Writer's Attempt to Write […]

  7. somewhere else says:

    very encouraging, so easy to let dreams fall away because of life, thank you

  8. jeeze, where did you get this out from?! it’s excellent!!!

  9. Ms. Peaches says:

    very well written! this is great! thanks for sharing!

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