The other night, just as I fell asleep listening to a podcast, the host shared this poem by Mark Nepo:
Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.
I won't even pretend to know how to comment on the piece because I'm somewhat aghast to admit: aside from high school and college assignments, I've really never read or written any poetry. All I know is how this poem made me feel, which is grateful to see multiple emotions acknowledged in one piece. As someone who's recently experienced loss, it gives me such peace to see wonder and grief used in the same sentence. Feeling punctured by a holiness. To feel sad even when everything is beautiful.
It's not that I've actively ignored poetry. I just haven't been exposed to it. I've glanced. I've dabbled. I've skimmed.
Come to think of it, not too long ago, I attended a poetry reading organized by a friend. I was mesmerized by the experience. There was such a compactness about the writing, which -- being the overwriter that I am -- was completely foreign to me . The crisp, vivid, minimalist use of words, the directness of it all...I loved it.
And I wondered that night if I'd ever have it in me to write poetry.
I guess I'll never know unless I try.
And so, I'll start now. I won't let myself overthink or even edit what comes out. Honestly, I don't even understand the mechanics or formatting of poetry, with all its inconsistent capitalizations and line breaks and commas showing up in places I might not otherwise apply them.
Nevertheless, here goes.
I'm calling it, quite naturally...
My First Poem
Here we are, finally.
Took us so long,
but now we are together,
figuring it out as we go along.
For some, it seems so easy, so fluid, so effortless.
I am not "them". I was nervous to begin, somewhat pensive,
questioning angles and outcomes and results.
That's been me, you know. And I thought I might not ever change,
believing for so long that my heart could never stretch this way.
there's adventure tucked beneath this hesitation.
A need to explore.
There are no rules or judges
saying how it's meant to feel.
The flow is what we make of it.
Free and open, here and now,
direct and honest.
Uniquely our own.
# # #
Well...that was a little scary.
And now it's published.
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