Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Beast

National Poetry Month

Inspiration often comes at inconvenient moments--walking my neighborhood and I've forgotten my phone with it's memo-to-self capabilities, planting flowers in my garden with dirty hands and no pen nearby, in the middle of the night when I try to convince myself I'll remember in the morning. And then the phrase, the next scene, the image is gone.

The same is true in life. How often we miss the moment for a word or an act of kindness that will make a difference in someone's day. We let the opportunity pass, and the act that only you or I could do goes undone. And something is lost.

I'm learning to listen to that inner voice that prompts me to respond, whether it's with pen and paper or a kind word. Regret is harder to live with than failure.

The Beast

I came to a great door,
Its lintel overhung
With burr, bramble, and thorn;
And when it swung, I saw
A meadow, lush and green.

And there a great beast played,
A sportive, aimless one,
A shred of bone its horn,
And colloped round with fern.
It looked at me; it stared.

Swaying, I took its gaze;
Faltered; rose up again;
Rose but to lurch and fall,
Hard, on the gritty sill,
I lay; I languished there.

When I raised myself once more,
The great round eyes had gone.
The long lush grass lay still;
And I wept there, alone.

--Theodore Roethke

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