Poem: Time Bandit
An encounter while sitting still
This week I wrote a poem based on an encounter I had in the woods while sitting in my usual writing spot. For paid subscribers, I recorded a video there of me reading the poem and talking a bit about the experience that inspired it. You upgrading to a paid subscription is what makes it possible for me to keep doing this thing that I love, so thanks for your consideration.
Peace & Music,
Some days the wall between me And my past Is thick as the packed earth Above a casket Some days it is only A wisp of morning fog That dampens my cheeks Before the rising sun can burn it away Mostly I cry for what was Not what could have been My children, small and curious Whirring bundles of neurons and Pudgy, probing fingers My marriage, hopeful, flexible, fierce And unsinkable Me, a box of fireworks With no fuses My antidote for time travel Is a scrawny raccoon Who stumbles upon me Writing in the woods As he’s headed home after a Night of carousing We’re both startled I spill my tea He stands and holds up his hands A cornered bandit too tired To do anything but surrender Then a blue jay screeches And the bandit slips away Through the stinging nettles Taking my past with him Leaving me with a blinking cursor And possibility
Sit still. That’s it. That’s my creative prompt for you this week.
I’ve been restless most of my life. The only reason I’ve completed so many things is because I have a freakish disorder that won’t let me rest otherwise. I’ve finished so many bad things that would have been best left unfinished.
Learning to sit still has made the most positive impact on the quality of my creative work and my mental health.
I would never have encountered this little raccoon had I not been sitting still. He didn’t think I was anything but a rock or a tree until he nearly bumped into me.
I would not have been able to write the resulting poem had I not continued to sit still.
So, if you want to get better at your creative work, try sitting still and see what sneaks up on you.
Join Me in the Comments
I’d love to hear what you think. Do you make a practice of slowing down? Is it a struggle to be still?
A Video Reading
Below you can check out the video I recorded from my little writing spot where I commune with the animals of midtown Atlanta.
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