Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Impossible Bird


I have wished only one wish, every day, for that past six and a half years. So, a couple of winters ago, I decided that I would write 1,000 short poems about cranes. If I did this, my wish would come true. Japanese legend says that if you fold one thousand origami cranes you will be cured by the gods (modern interpretation; you will be granted your wish).
My plan was flawed. I wanted immediate results, I wanted great poems, I wanted to be able to crank them out and I wanted my wish. I wasn’t even half way through when I realized that the writing did not have to be perfect, I did not have to spend hours laboring over each line or stanza. Hell, I didn’t even have to show this thing to anyone. I just had to write it. I am no longer afraid of writing something that does not please me, I know that this journey is much bigger than my ego. Funny how your hope shifts.
As I write this, I am picturing those long crane legs (reminding me of broken pencils) that will get to me to where I need to be. Perhaps today I might move a little closer to my dream, one line at a time.

from The Impossible Bird:

225
The melody cannot be recovered
we watch the mercury indicate
what we already suspected
if the battle could sleep as silently
as a crane
life would be a poem.


Here's Solomon Burke to send you off dreaming.


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