life is like a scrap of paper

This evening I spent a little time reviewing some of my poetry and lyrics. In all, there are over 200 poems, and a handful (21) of lyrics as well. It is interesting to notice the changes in my writing over time. By learning established forms such as Haiku, Pantoum, Sonnet, and Ghazal, I develop freedom to launch out, creating my own forms, or to use freeform.

All of life is a wellspring for poetic and narrative ideas. Work, family, feelings, interests, observations. It all has a part to play. As my writing has developed, I notice that I tend to be more attentive to the ordinary and mundane. For example, as I drive truck about the city, the ubiquitous scraps of paper flitting along the curb with each gust of wind capture my attention. What is the writing on the papers? Is it important? An announcement? A prescription? A school assignment? A court document? Or is it yet another discarded piece of marketing copy from the nearby newspaper stand? Aside from gathering each one up and reading them, we will never know until we explore the possibilities in some form, poetic or narrative. Only then will we discover clues as to their origin and intended audience.

Life is kind of like these scraps of paper. Too many people shrug as each day passes by, assuming they will have another day tomorrow to provide them more amusement and fulfillment than the ordinary day in which they now find themselves. They let the day blow by, numb to any curiousity about the creative possibilities, content instead to live vicariously by watching others act oddly on reality tv or report on their real lives via social media.

What would happen if they would chase after their respective scraps of paper and read them, and even write on them in contribution to the narrative of their own stories? Instead of living vicariously through the stories of others, they would embark on adventures of their own. In so doing, they might even break free of the shackles which bind them to mediocrity, shallowness, and silent desperation.


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