Some see the city as spires of glass,
towering steel and steady, noble iron –
Historical and thriving, teeming with life as any coral reef
of stone and brick.
I see the shimmering glamour of it all
but feel its pull, a magnet misleading:
the city is quicksand to suck at my feet
pulling, squeezing, holding back –
Get on the train to go to work
Sit at the desk, answer the phone
Get on the train, go home from work
Try to relax, try to have fun
Try to make time
Get on the train to go to work…
The rhythm lulls me down, dumbs the senses;
Not soothing but defeating in a low, dull roar
Consuming slow like pits of sand with teeth that don’t chew – only swallow.
But if we try to become lighter than air
If we ourselves inflate with hollow light and fierce-burning hopes
If we move quickly, leaping from art to art as cats nimbly traversing ledge after ledge
Gathering speed and lighting the lamps with creator’s spark and wonder,
Then we can not only survive the sand
But surpass it entirely.
We then run along the tops of train cars
And soar between skyscrapers
Dancing out of reach
While our bodies sit patiently and wait to make use of our time.
Stretch a little farther every day
Lighter and quicker by the hour
And we can astonish ourselves into creatorship and artistichood
Bounding beyond the gray and metal trappings of our cages
And live brighter –
Brighter by the minute.
This is the first poem I’ve published on the blog, and my first ‘real’ poem I’ve written in about four years. My Patreon patrons saw it first a week or two ago, after I wrote it on a morning break at the ol’ day job. These are thoughts that rattle around on a daily basis, and although they aren’t wholly healing they are somewhat of a comfort. The faster we move, the more likely we are to survive. Melodramatic? Sure. But anyone who’s got an inch of creativity in them that is stifled by their mundane daily slog knows what it’s like. I hope it keeps getting brighter. No one was born to live with that much gray.