Saturday, February 08, 2014

I wrote a poem

Walking on the beach at Lunan Bay Scotland. A 'Yes' moment!
Around 8 months ago I jotted down the beginnings of a poem. Today I came across the rough draft and thought perhaps it was time to finish it. If I remember correctly, I hastily typed those first words in a rush of joy and exuberance, absolutely besotted with being alive and surrounded by so much goodness. This evening, in a more contemplative state of mind, I edited it and added a final stanza. It is a poem about hope, celebration, gifts, limitations, and sobering gratitude. It is a poem about saying yes to life, all of it.

The Poem of Yes
by Matte Downey 

Do you ever just want to write a poem? 
Because you want to say something delicious
Create something frothy and delightful
Mold something with edgy consonants and soothing vowels
Paint a picture with adjectives which have the potential to startle the mind and make someone go “Oh!”

Do you ever just want to dance and jump? 
Because there’s no good reason for it but jumping is what you do when you’re alive and you have legs
And dancing is what you do when you are alone and unafraid and miss someone you love
And dancing and jumping is what you do when adjectives are just not enough

Do you ever just want to cry? 
Because there is too much pain in the world and it has numbed us all
Made us a little too cynical
Too sure of ourselves
Too immune to small disasters
And too blind to big ones
Or maybe just because the story unfolding before you is too beautiful and the weight of life too heavy to carry without tears
And crying is what you do when the time for dancing and jumping is past

Do you ever just want to smell everything? 
Like the sweet tang of freshly cut grass
Because that particular smell is not available year-round in Canada
Like the sweaty clothes lying on the floor after a day filled with sunshine and playing outside
Or scrubbing the back deck 
Like the garbage in your kitchen 
Because the rank odour reminds you of last night’s party with chicken drumsticks
And the overripe strawberries you had to throw out because you just couldn’t eat another bite
And it makes you sad because not everyone has the privilege of a stinky garbage
And smelling everything is what you do after you have cried and wiped your nose

Do you ever just want to stand and look at the sky as it changes minute by minute? 
Or listen to the sounds of people walking on crunchy snow?
Or breathe in breath after breath of sharp cold air on a clear night?
Or stroke the cat's fur and feel her small chest rise and fall in half-slumber?
Because sometimes you realize just for a moment that you are very alive in a 
And it makes your heart want to burst
And let out a long, primal scream which could be translated roughly as "I hear you calling! Here I am!"

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