I just wrote a poem, called The Level.
Last week I had the observation that this was an interesting metaphor for internal balance.
And tonight I wrote the poem.
I did it in approximately 6 minutes. Because it was 8.35pm when I remember looking at the clock, and it is 8.42pm now.
I thought maybe I would just write an observation, a prose piece. But what came out was poetry. With a flow I can’t control.
Some things need to be carefully crafted – some poems call for that. And I am a big believer that the more effort we put into things the better they tend to be. (I read a quote by Thornton Wilder about this years ago, and it stuck with me as a valuable truism for a writer.)
But somehow with most of the poems, they just flow out.
It’s a strange feeling, like something I am powerless to stop.
As I write this, it is giving me surprising flashbacks to the process of giving birth.
The image we always see onscreen is of a women pushing, labouring to get the baby out.
But that’s not what it was like for me.
I was induced, and the labour was so fast and furious I felt completely at the mercy of my body. If anything, I tried to tell my body to slow down, to soften, to wait.
It was futile – the baby was coming whether I would or not.
And there is an echo of that feeling in this writing.
The poem is coming, and all I can do is soften and ease the way as much as possible.
I don’t know how this part of myself was locked up for so long. I remember the last poem I wrote from a place of inspiration. I was around 10 or 11 years old – just at the point when my homework became so demanding there was no energy or imagination left for things like writing poetry.
To think that sat dormant for 25 years.
How could this part of me have been locked up? How could I have lost it?
But to me this proves that the parts we are disconnected from never really leave us.
Because the tap is turned back on.
And for better or worse, I leak poetry, wherever I go.