Wishing to Want What is Write

May 18, 2008
By John Heinz, Columbia, MO


I have nothing to say, for the eightieth straight day,
Except to say, I hate this class!
Its unstructured past, its mischievous mast;
A flash of gunpowder, a fifty yard dash,
A poster full of words and a desk made of trash!
Alas, I'm smashed, passed backwards and dropped,
A notebook the size of a lineman goes flop!
And I am popped, I am popped,
Disenfranchised and bopped,
Pressured and slopped,
With little giddy and much anguish,
The words and faces tangle my traces,
Push me back and off to the place where braces
Bring relief in troubled waters filled with woe.
And I sing,
A momentary rush in the spring,
All to catch up in the swing and the ring
Of tumultuous happenings playing in the field
And yielding an impact hardly blocked by the shield.
The shield! The shield! Oh where do you form?
I wonder oh wonder but it does me no harm
But I can't but consider the risk I have taken
By forming such connections deep in the making
Of an established forum where writer are born
And molded to perfection, but I am torn.
Oh how I wish this were simple, wish this were easy;
A startled fish on a dish of a man in his thirties
Sipping cider while perched on the porch
And counting his earnings.

Eight is the number, the number he wrote,
A number he built, a number he spoke.
And he spoke so fine that very same day
As he happens to leave while out on the fray.
He misses his teacher but remembers fondly the past,
A glorious one that will live on and last.
But it's all for the good of his students, he explains,
Since they will be returning to the lead of each person's thoughts
And the stone cold pages of a notebook, tightly bound.
What do its contents explain, he asks.
The student in the back answers with a barreling blast,
"Mine is my own, but so very vast,"
As he understands the richness of the mind,
Hard at work on one's next piece,
Risking reputation but receiving recognition,
Always the strong suit of a writer on a mission:
To forge ahead, clearing one's own name
And making it shimmer on the classroom wall;
Nothing is too great or too small.

The writer's tools, so neat on the selves
Get tossed about and thrown in wells—
But I know a class where they'll be found
And Write to Publish is its name, a writing breeding ground.

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