Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Soul Food - Poem

Soul Food

A flock of freshly sharpened pencils
adorn my writing table.
Points creating thin-lined words
on a clean white page.
Pink eraser on the end of each.
My thoughts flow faster
than my hand can write, leaving out
a letter in one word, adding it to another.
It’s easy to see my favorite pencil,
It has no eraser left.
Add on erasers just don’t work as well and
those large hand-held ones just don’t give
the same satisfaction as flipping gracefully
back and forth, correcting errors and
honing my words. 

Crisp, clean, smooth pages.
Never written upon, nor even next to
a written page, invite me to write.
Pale blue lines separating sentences.
Pink/red margin markers;
I usually escape their confines.
New legal pads, journals, old-fashioned copybooks,
graph paper, even columnar pads for bookkeeping.
Bookkeeping, keeping books, as in a library,
Mayhap, one day, one of mine.
Drawing and watercolor papers of all sorts,
fancy linen rag papers, construction paper – all
colors from grade school, all add their imprint
alongside of mine.

Old fashioned fountain pens, cheap
Bic’s® stolen from doctors offices, ball points
advertising some product or service. 
Newer rolling writers and gel pens that don’t skip.
I like extra fine point.
Keyboards with wondrous fonts, to save it all forever.

The smell of wood burning assaults my nostrils
as my cigarette lays on the shavings;
curled, tiny replicants of pencil points, only slimmer.
I want to write with a point that slender, that
sharp, but my hand would cramp much sooner.

Short stubs of pencils, with no erasers, making
them lie unevenly in the tray,  staring sadly at me.
They wait, to be used again, too short
to fit in my hand.
Throw them out, I think, but wait, no,
they have served me too well, setting my words and
thoughts to paper, in song, poems, and letters.
They deserve better that to be discarded,
unthanked, like trash on the side of the road.

Endless as the words waiting to be
written, the abundance of paraphernalia
designed for putting words into the
world, whisper to me
“Use me! Cover me! With beauty,
laughter, and tears."
And I answer by baring my soul.

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