The Call to Write (a poem)

The Call to Write, a poem

I could blame writing
for the sombre moods
I encourage and obsess over,
when my ideas do not present
what I wish, when my words
do not represent what I feel.

I have allowed writing
to define me and
I dare not now question it,
for I have built it up
like a mantra, an object
to hide behind and use to attack.

My instinct is to take stationary
whenever I leave the confines
where I often sleep and eat.
This habit has taken an age
to enact, so ingrained the pen is a finger,
with rains of ink inside
my paper body, a canvas to carry
messages boundless in form and content.
Earlier, out for a walk I instead discuss,
observe, think of anything else, ignore
the voice calling to sit, scribble, saturate the page.
Before the rain I hold back, refuse to keep the fallen copper coin,
snatch the lost golf ball, steal a wilted bean pod.
Later, on a shorter, more frequented route
I take a handful of paper that rolls into a baton,
the pen tucked inside my pocket.
I use neither but their feel heightens
my perceptions of soaked pigeons, drowned leaves,
the green, immature apples, conkers, blackberries
as we walk in circles for no other reason
than to smell the wind, hear scrapes of soles.

I could modify choices
to gain alternating outcomes
I desire and enjoy more,
so no repetition need occur
that is unfavourable,
or require changing again.

I could reject my past,
begin a new journey that
does not require writing,
a source of controlled conflict
like a cartridge for a ballpoint
engraved in my name, to defend myself.

David A. Church

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