Escaping Quicksand (poem)

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

Time

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

To live

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.