I wrote a poem today. For some people that may not seem like too big of a deal, but I really don’t like poetry. I’ve always found poems difficult to read unless they are at the level of a nursery rhyme. Anything beyond that level is beyond my abilities. I don’t understand the economy of words or hidden themes. Maybe I am too literal. (Or stupid.) Ask anyone who knows me, if something can be said with three words, I’ll use 33.
But today was different. It was gloomy, and it is Monday. I didn’t sleep well last night, and I have a deadline looming over my head to complete the FY 2017 budget. My house is covered in drywall dust with no end in sight to the constant stream of workers talking loudly and blasting music by 7:30 a.m.
I arrived at my office with a plan, but by lunchtime I had barely made a dent. With constant interruptions, I was struggling not to lose my temper. I ordered lunch and planned to eat at my desk while I continued working. I sat back in my chair for a moment and closed my eyes. My mind wandered from one thing to another, one person to another. My thoughts are too often on those who are no longer a part of my life. I hate getting older. There is too much loss. I am tired of losing. Too much change, and I’m tired of changing.
I closed out of the spreadsheets. I wasn’t going to be productive in my present state of mind. I took a bite of my sandwich and tried to shake away the gloom. I remembered something I had done years ago that had often helped me during times like this. I opened up a Word document and started writing. So much was bottled up, and I needed to release the thoughts one by one in a sort of stream of consciousness exercise.
Before I knew it, something had begun to take shape. I went back to the beginning, and I began to tweak the words. I edited and arranged them. I worked quickly. It was as if the words were telling me where they needed to be placed. The words began to make sense. One thought followed another, and a deeper meaning began to speak to me from beneath what I had written. It was a poem.
It wasn’t good, and it certainly isn’t worth sharing. I’m certain it does not follow the “rules of poetry.” I remember there were always a lot of poetry rules that didn’t make much sense to me. I’ve never been very good with rules!
The process of writing my poem was therapeutic. I arranged the words and thoughts. By economizing, a theme began to emerge. What had weighed me down was lifted just a little. A small part of the gloom floated away..off into the distance.