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A Young Poet through the Looking Glass
Hope doesn’t drip from my pen
I cannot take fistfuls of dust,
Of dead things and un-translated legend
And blow them into being.
Instead I let it gather
In my mind and on my desk,
And on receipts from dustless bookstores.
From time to time I sweep it off
Of every surface.
And let the wind or the dustbin take it.
I’d rather give up the hopeful dreaming dust
Then try and make it live
In the wretched way
Of those unaccustomed to magic and to greatness.
I am no necromancer
I am no ancient poet
My words are too green,
Too light to tempt and hold suffering down
That brilliant beast with chattering teeth.
I cannot tempt it with rhyming bait
I cannot trap it behind paper bars
And make it appear tame enough
For people to want to touch.
That is the trick of it
That is a poet’s work
To make suffering desirable,
My words just show it’s aftermath
I return to the questing eye
With scratches on my face and arms,
After letting suffering get away.
I hold open raw hands
That hold torn and clever fur, and lost and vicious teeth
And once searching hands dig into pockets
And once questing eyes look elsewhere.
I drop my head and hands, and turn again
To seek out that brilliant beast again
To seek out hopeful, dreaming dust and un-translated legend
That someday I will bring to life,
With golden words
In the way of one accustomed to magic and to greatness.