O Muse –
you cruel impetus
that never sleeps!
The mind that runs
in circles
while the body aches
for rest!
Inspiration
is such a thing
that never strikes when asked,
but rudely interrupts
matters of great (or no) purport.
It cannot be forced
to make appearances,
but is a thing of whimsy.
O thoughts!
like many varied fishes
that take to biting at the line,
I draw you in,
cast some back
to the current of my mind.
Like lightning!
bright and flashing,
thoughts fuse into words
that rumble with thunder,
and nearly ink themselves
with ingenuity.
Memories and images
are thrust upon me
like flowered wreaths
from joyful strangers –
"Take them!" –
they are full of life
and meaning,
and almost beyond
all understanding.
Phrases tumble out
like spilt cereal;
every day
another sheave is torn
to gather them up.
The most silent moment
of mine
is filled - filled! -
with warring words,
attention-seeking
greedy words that grasp
for daylight, prominence,
a chance to be heard
and immortalised.
They, unlike I,
might change a nation
or raise a mountain;
only they can beseech
tired deities
and mortal men alike.
O words, words - !
They fall from heaven
and splatter on my windowpane,
desperate;
they cry themselves
to sleep,
as I write, write…
into the darkened
night.

TMK 12aug2007