Yes, you know, this thing that I’m doing here; this blog-essays thing. Blog-muse has apparently mugged and taken poet-muse hostage and locked her in a closet. When I decided to write a poem this morning, I had to be quite stern with blog-muse in convincing her that she had to let poet-muse out to sit with me for a while. The way that my mind has been automatically turned toward writing whole sentences and paragraphs lately, I had some small, niggling worry that maybe I was losing touch with my poetic place to be. In retrospect, it was silly to worry, but it was shortly before 4am…on a day off…and I wasn’t sleeping…so worry is what I did.
While this was going on, I left the bed and came to the computer, and to Facebook. After checking notifications, I began scrolling the newsfeed, and was taken by a photo of a strikingly beautiful young woman in a scenic place, on a link to a news article. I stared blankly at her through the dull fog of 3:58am for a handful of heartbeats before deciding that it was time to face down the impulse to essay and find my way to a place of poetry. I opened a new Word file, flexed my fingers, leaned forward in my chair, closed my eyes and brought the photo into view, and strained to reach for the poem.
Huh. That was not what I unexpected.
No resistance. It was like leaning in to push a door just as someone pulls it open from the other side. The first few lines nearly wrote themselves, and I was in the groove. For the next blanked out piece of time, I was choosing and fitting and re-fitting and retro-fitting and turning upside down and back to front, until the moment came when the poem cried out for mercy and final relief from the pains of its birth, and I relented. Yep, there it was, a little bit of a thing, as poems go, kind of lean in the phrasing and light on the imagery, but worthy of adoption and of public display with my name.
Now, I had to re-read the poem with intent to find its title. It’s not always easy to find, but every poem provides its own title, in my world, even if it’s only a reflection not easily noted. This one was as easy to find as the poem was to write. It was balanced right there between L3 and L4, all it needed was the addition of one word. I said it out loud as I typed it across the top, “Little poem, you shall go out into the world and be known as: She Smiles, Unaware.”
With that, I noted that it was now 4:37am, it had taken less than an hour to prove to myself that I could still find a that place without trouble. Oh, yeah! I pushed back from the computer and surged from my chair to dance a lively jig around the basement while chanting, “Yew-betcha folks! Here he is, the One-Hour Poet! That’s right, I’m bad. Yoo-Hoo!”
Okay, that’s not true. It wasn’t a jig, it was more of a staggering limp-shuffle-and reach for a door frame. And, it wasn’t so much a chant as it was a groaning sigh of combined relief and pain. Okay, so it was really a matter of not realizing how badly I had to pee until I had finished the poem, and the “yoo-hoo” at the end was because I made it to the bathroom in time.
All right, time to go. No, not that, I mean I’m finished here, I already went. The poem is below the sign-off. Stop speculating about my coffee consumption and go look at it so its feelings aren’t hurt. Poems hate to be ignored, you know.
See y’all next time.
She Smiles, Unaware
Mystery lurks behind
of a sweet, serene smile,
unaware of its power
to please, and to create
of playful passions,
explored in soft grasses
of a mountain meadow
beneath a sapphire sky,
in wishful memories
of impossible love.
Kevin R. Carr (2017)