Why is writing a late-night affair?
Riding the waves of darkness and sorrow
I must right all the ills of the world
In a single paragraph, a simple poem,
A combination of letters to make sense of life
Or no cents at all since writing never fills my pocket,
Only my brain with wonder and my soul with thought.
I cannot live without it, this craft I have adopted
So late in life, hidden inside of me a century or more
Fearful of escaping so as not to be discovered as weak
Yet more than a week to find myself in so many words
And letters of encouragement from those who read,
Those who also cry out in the night for acceptance
And love, since that is what matters most to us all.
Write, write, write, my dearest companions, my colleagues,
Compose yourselves in beautiful harmony or ubiquitous agony
Over whatever life brings to you, and whatever you record
For all time, for rhyme is certain to please your senses
And tickle the rhythms of your life in ways you never knew
Or never considered could be, while you search for
What is good and merciful and beautiful out there.
Accept your gifts, share with the world what is in your head
Before you are dead and your talents die with you.
We, you and me, are careful to say what we say in a way
That does not harm, but makes us think, contemplate
All the horrors and the beauty of the world as it turns
On its axis bringing access to air and water and life itself
Training God’s creatures to react to its constant turning.
Turning and churning our words on the page must follow
A pattern to reveal the sensitive caverns of our inner corps
As we create a mood, develop a scene, and tell our stories
Of strength and loss, of uncertainty and challenge, of tragedy.
We speak of love, of sorrow, of bridges to cross and roads to build
The core of our very being is ripped open in a post to the world
That may never be seen or may become a scene in our obituary.
Words connect my fingers to thought patterns that pound
Into something strong and wonderful that lasts for posterity
So my children and my grandchildren and those that come after
Will know that there was once a race of thinkers and writers
And spellers and rhymers who did not need a robotic prompt
Or a creative idea log or even a spell check program to assure
The words made sense, to assure that humans would still exist.
–Victoria Emmons, 2014