Ok, I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ve begun to labor in the garden of prose lately, sharing a personal reflective essay here on the blog not too long ago and sketching out ideas and scenes for potential short stories and novels in my own notebooks and computer files. That’s fine. But I’m not as comfortable in the realm of prose’s literary partner, poetry.
Just the same, here’s something I was thinking about earlier this evening that pressed me into writing about it, and it seemed appropriate as a poem…of sorts. Thanks to my friend JD for encouraging the poetic art.
It’s been said pain is the gift noone wants. Perhaps
Vulnerability counts too, since pain is the pathway
To this gift. Strange that releasing our white-knuckled
Grasp on life’s ups and downs would be more difficult
Than holding on, fingers somehow more comfortable
Bent up and crooked than free and straight.
Advice is a stimulant that keeps us engaged and
Disengaged: Engaged in a competition of monologues
That passes as conversation, disengaged from the
Truth of hearing and being heard. A dose of expertise
Offered and consumed helps us avoid knowing
One another too well.
But a listening ear betrays a threatening, healing
Place. A shared silence in which hands open,
Tongues still, and friendships form.
2 thoughts on “poetic thoughts: "disarming"”
good work guy
it’s a quite ponderous journey– and it rolls as the words somehow play together in the manner of their meanings. i.e. pain and gift, advice and stimulant, competition of monologues vs. listening ear vs. shared silence. . . . . . . finally arriving at friendship.
i struggled to connect the ideas of stanza 1 and 2 and yet it becomes more and more apparent as I engage with the larger arrangement and watch stanza 3– which is really more of a “bridge” resolve it. jd
Thanks for the comments, JD.
Yeah, I was thinking about our hesitance to open up and share about life, and our contradictory responses to others who open up to us. I’ve especially seen this among pastors. When one opens up about a challenge or issue in their church, more times than not another pastor is jumping at the chance to offer “expert” advice rather than listening well. But in the midst of offering their expertise on the subject, they fail to really hear what was going on and therefore seldom offer something that is relevant. It’s hard enough to open up and become vulnerable. Harder still when that vulnerability is not received with a hospitable spirit, but trampled with poorly informed information.