FINISH WORK

 

 

….  One of the attributes of poetry is the power of compression.  So much can be said in just a few words.  I have often felt that the process of writing poetry is an allegorical experience.  It mirrors the ebb and flow of modern life.  It contains the thrill of inspired revelation but also many days of ordinary vision amid daily routines.  Workman-like days when the finishing touches are patiently applied to the body of what had been flashes of insight; so that in time the whole work can come alive.  Finish work.    The outcome is always uncertain until the product is finally fi.  

     How many days are consumed with unfulfilling mundane tasks; with the addressing of issues that were often repetitive and sometimes mind-numbing.  One might think of these as cataract days.  You are proceeding, but with a type of blindness.  You are living in the present, taking care of business.  You move forward towards completing immediate goals but often without a sense of creative accomplishment or satisfaction.   This situation might last for many years.  It can be most disheartening because your sense of purpose and direction can be blurred by what life seems to have become.  And what you see may not fulfill your spiritual yearning.  It is possible to pass through such a phase, though it may seem like an interminable period, and still find a bastion of meaning and happiness.  But in the meantime, you might also find yourself roaming ragged on the side of your spiritual road.  I admire those that struggle to reach their higher ground.  It is often a lonely journey, but it is a noble one.

     In the poem that follows, reference is made to Colonus.  This was a sacred grove outside ancient Athens.  It is here where Oedipus Rex, a wretched and blind outcast who has wandered for years atoning for unwittingly committing sins, finally finds redemption and ascends to join his gods.

 

 

FINISH WORK

 

He walked the path of verse

Until the words wore down conforming to his tongue

A workman honing passages 

On the long days in the dim light 

Cataract days

When the spark of creativity slept half-bound in a dream

When the mind clutched tightly the treasures it had gleaned

And wandered ragged

Groping in the darkness for Colonus.

 

INDEX