To be a writer
is like being two atoms that dance with one
Hydrogen playing with Oxygen
moving with scintillating, procreating fluidity
a disciplined yet unchained pattern
until the quadrille
with hardly a breath
transforming into crystals,
each one a unique expression
of water being frost
rock being mountain
or wind being ripples on river’s skin
like human being body, emotion and thought
like me, turning molecules of mind into words
dancing the rounds and rhythms,
pulling sounds and meanings like taffy;
stretching, tempting, and loving the sweetness
of post-rain petrichor, poetry and story-being-born.
Discipline is all it takes;
it’s only a matter of focused attention.
All the while my faucet drips
a metronome playing Chopin’s Funeral March.
It echoes against the cold hard tub: Dum Dum da Dum,
Dum da Dum da Dum da Dum…
A suitable march for somber scenes
or penned phrases that smirk.
Do you remember Mommy’s funeral?
When we weren’t supposed to laugh?
Suddenly, simple things such as a lady’s hat
black and wide
a saucer-shaped ride for snow,
turned resignation and sorrow into nonsense,
amplified our sighs into unstoppable giggles,
and hoots escaped from our throats
bouncing off gravestones
and falling like stars of grief-relief.
We stood there, two children hugging themselves
trying to appear with socially-acceptable sadness
behavior more suited to the tragic event.
Laughter, glorious laughter
like a toad released in a classroom of nuns
shocked the mourners and freed us.
Mourners shifted in confusion
at our emancipation.
Surely we weren’t glad that Mommy died?
No more bed pans
No more sheets and laundry
Not one more morning of waking up wondering
if she’s dead
or still dying…
Is that faucet still dripping?
Handel’s Water Suite No 2
now skipping like tigger in my tub
bouncy, boisterous and… happy.
In the yellow pages under Plumbers, I find Scotty.
I call and ask him for a quote.
He knows my rented cottage
I forgot that this is an island,
a community of small and intimate
where no sparrow falls without everyone knowing
just as no bath leaks
nor pipes crack
nor drain becomes clogged
without Scottie fixing it
I need more than a washer, he says,
to stop this rhythmic dripping that disturbs my work.
Receiving his quote, I discover that words come cheap
but plumbing doesn’t.
His repair will cost me a whole chapter
including the edits.
Handel’s happy notes begin to grow on me.
Staying in the moment, I hear another pattern
an attitude – a practice of choice – an epiphany.
A drip or a sound need not be my nemesis
instead it is a setting; fire and fuel for my work.
I listen to the rhythms, inhale them, accept them into my being
Words commune and bond with water
dancing the dance of intention
while I, in glorious birth,
exist again and again and again
bonder of sights, sounds, heart and soul
in crystal-forming discipline
becoming what I already am
Submitted to Poetry Palace’s Thursday Rally: