Calling the Poem: 9. ‘The Poem Comes’

Do you see the tigerish poem, or is it seeing you?
Sensing you, sizing up your form…
(You know that lovely feeling, warm,
When you’re stared at by somebody you like…
How creepy though, if someone you dislike…)
Perhaps it will ring true,
Perhaps the lines
Will just ring hollow…
But having offered yourself up like some bonbon,
Prayed at the shrines
Of lares and penates, Mercury, Apollo,
Ganesh and Odin, Legbas Atibon,
Liminal gods of paths and gates,
And stories, lies, poetry and fates,
You have no right, nor no ability,
To choose between rough trade or some civility;
Stared at by god or demon, grand or scum,
You’ve whored yourself to gods. Take what may come.

*****

This is the ninth in the 15-poem series of the ‘Calling the Poem’ e-chapbook that Snakeskin published a couple of years ago. (Unfortunately the Snakeskin Archives are currently down.) It reflects my sense that you can evoke artistry by invoking those unconscious inner forces that can only communicate with your conscious self through dreams and images, hints and melodies, words that well up but are not quite random…

The invocation requires two things to be successful: alertness to your changing moods, and showing respect for whatever “inspiration” you receive by writing it down, sketching it out, formalising it as appropriate – and thereby encouraging further communication.

I’m aware that all this sounds pretentious. But I think that the unconscious mind knows different things, in some ways truer things, than the conscious mind, especially about physical health, mental balance and the process of changes in life. Finding a way to tap into this – through prayer, meditation or the arts – is life-affirming for most people… but perhaps dangerous for a few.

The next poems in this series deal with things going right, going wrong, needing work…

Photo: “Streetart at the state of art #art #streetart #dublin #graffiti #montana #street #woman #beautiful #poetic #inspiring #graffiti #artistic #gorgeous #wall #graff” by Romana Correale is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

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