Despite writing, in no exaggeration, well over ten thousand words of vaguely (blog) publishable content over the last four months, the moment of actually pressing the enticingly clickable ‘publish’ button has been endlessly snoozed. Like an alarm that you’ve set on a weekend to avoid wasting the morning, the only imperative to finish anything is a general sense of doing something worthwhile with time designated as spare.
As a significant portion of that time is spent running, doing activities related to running (stretching, strength exercises and jumping over things, mostly hurdles that I should be jumping over, occasionally other things), or thinking of running, I can be a bit listless the rest of the time. Listless, that is, apart from the constantly proliferating ‘to-do’ lists, featuring absurdities like (I kid you not) ‘review all previous to-do lists, collate and synchronise’, and, even more ridiculously: ‘backdate diet with receipts’ from July 2014. Needless to say the fact I still have that intact list, along with tens of others is testament to my failure to collate or synchronise anything.
With pieces of writing, I always find them partly started or half finished, with just enough material for me to know where I was going and someday venture in that direction again. I tend to finish poems, in that a first draft is produced with promises to ‘refine’ or not doubt ‘collate’ the words with some other witty thought buried alongside hundreds of other notes. In that spirit then, here’s something with no title I thought of mostly during a long run. It’s not complete, but in the spirit of actually finishing something, it’s complete enough to be going on with. More to come, perhaps.
The title, to choose something rather than nothing, is ‘a wooden form’.
The bough, in bending to the wind, resists by knowing it must yield,
Arms fend the swirling bluster off, with lissome limbs compose a shield.
Spry willow of new wood is wrought, a pliant will that knows its end,
These broken branches can be whittled, shattered but with strength to lend.
It breaks each time, but yet breaks later, body holds for longer, still,
The limits move from frame to mind, the form has done the work it will.
It matters not if mind’s cast down, drive tired limbs with ropes of thought,
Take strength from each resisting fibre, focus not on what is ought,
The wisps of hope, these threads, can help, if we can follow where they lead,
In each failed attempt, is strength, in each fallen fruit a seed.
Smith’s birch might offer shelter here, a story that has much to teach,
By all means travel, learn and wonder, yet ever know how far to reach.
If we strive out with arms of flesh, we must keep one eye on the flame,
Despite all our earthly delights, there is a darkness we must name.
None of us may live forever, but don’t let’s hurry to the halt,
Each, in every gilded moment, breathe with joy, forget, exalt.