cloistered

I have been so silent
of late. my heart all emptied
of words, of thoughts
as if trying to hide
from the gods’ eyes
by maintaining
a virtuous silence.

I had no psalms
to sing, no melodies
bursting unbidden
from my throat,
no clever words
fountaining forth –
or even trickling –
from my pen.

I did not trust my heart
to speak above
a whisper, and so
it kept its counsel too
close to the habit
for me to hear.

I wondered, as I often do
when the well dries up,
if my poem writing days
were ended. I couldn’t tell
if I missed it. or perhaps
I didn’t let myself.
oh faithless mind!
such trickery is to be
expected. idle hands
and all that jazz.

then I read
a really good book, one
that cut me open
like a sword
and poetry
bled out.

I still don’t know
if there is more life
left in me, or if this
is the last poem
I will ever write, but
I can only be grateful
for whatever spirit
moves me now, for each
time as if it is
the last time.

I’ll lay my sorry words
upon the altar, knowing
they are not enough,
but it’s better
than sadness
emptiness
silence
death.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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