New Year, New Poem

ekg-flatline

SHALLOW BREATHS

I said I loved writing so much
That to tell me to stop doing it
Was as if to order me
To stop breathing altogether

I stopped breathing

I stopped doing everything
For quite awhile, in fact
But the pain that comes from
—the loss of life
Keeps bringing me back

I want to continue
So consider this my second try
At many first attempts
To take in oxygen

Inhale
Exhale
Let it all out
Then take it all back in
Again

What do you do, I asked God,
When your book’s not selling?
God,
What do I do
When the book won’t sell
And it seems as if
Everything I write
Goes unread
And I am told
To remember the real reason
For why I write to begin with

This passion seems to be dead
Because I used to be all self-righteous

“I do it all for the art! The craft!”

No, in reality, you really did it
For the money

“I do it for the love of it!”

Nah bruh,
You really did it for the money though

And when the money doesn’t seem
To be coming in
The passion dies
Because your heart wasn’t where
It was supposed to be
In the first place
So…Lord,
What do I do?
What do I do with all of this?

I thought it was to show people
—up
To prove to them that I could make it
I believed it was to pursue this
Unrelenting, endless drive
To show that I was so talented
I could make bankrolls
On top of bankrolls
Doing precisely what I loved to do
I thought it was to see my published
—works of art
Be played out across movie screens
Become a television series
All while sitting pretty for cameos
And interviews
Signings…

And other ridiculously useless garbage

I was dealing with my own pain
And I couldn’t write about it
I was seeing and experiencing
So many things
And could not find the energy
Nor the strength
To put it all down on paper
One time
Total function of my hands
But I turned into a paraplegic

Although to be honest
I think I became happy
With being miserable
I was starting to enjoy
All that misery and grief
Eating away at me
Eating me alive
Corroding me from the inside
Slowly
Like an acid

My sadness, my pain and my tears
They became my new passion

Then
I got another one of those
Reminders

She had just lost her grandfather
And I felt all the things
I had been keeping to myself
Begin to bubble up inside

I was reminded
Of a little girl’s desire
Before she even thought to dream

All she ever wanted
Was to be heard
Writing books
Performing for mass audiences
Reciting pieces, that yes, she had
—written herself

All those things didn’t matter
She just needed someone to listen

And what was most important
Was that she wanted other people
—to know

She was listening, too

Time goes on
And several years have passed since then
And as those emotions
Bubbled over
I began to recall
The real reason
For why anyone does this
Why it is that I do what I do

To sympathize with broken hearts
To lend my empathy
And an ear to those
Who feel as though their lives have
—been shattered
To lend a shoulder
And a hand
When there is no one to comfort
—them
To remind them all and all of those
—that I am there
When they feel
As if they don’t have a friend
As if…they are all alone

Because I remember those things
And I know it all too well

To give them hope
When they begin to think
That life simply is just not
Worth living
And to know
That I will never
Ever
Get tired of listening
Even
When I’m tired of listening
Because
I’ve been there

I think it is also
The primary reason
For why I listen so much
And talk so little
People need to know and feel
That they are heard
And be assured they are loved

And that is what Jesus
Has been trying to show me
All along

30-something odd letter poems later
Hundreds of works down the road
And finally
I’m starting to get it now
It’s all beginning to clear up

Focus on the hearts
Listen with your ears
And jot it all down
With that Almighty Pen
Let God flow through you
He’ll always show you
Where to start

I am hurting right now
But I still have a mission ahead of me
I posed the question to myself
Jacqueline
Suppose you had stopped breathing
Way back then
Imagine all the people
You wrote those letter poems to
Who wouldn’t have received
A single word
From the Lord
Imagine all the lives you wouldn’t
—have been able
To touch
Because you stopped focusing
On what was most important
What then?
What do you think would’ve
—happen?

I felt my heart sink
I need a reminder for myself
So I re-read the piece I sent
Two actually
The one I wrote for that young lady
And another I had written
Two years ago for someone else
And as I read them
The tears welled up once more

As I asked myself,
Do you think if people knew
How many tears I poured into this
How many drops were spilled
As I wrote and toiled on some of
—these poems…
Do you think that would make them
—buy the book?
Would they even bother to listen?

In that instant
God reminded me
He had listened
And He was always listening

I may not ever get to experience
What it’s like to be a rich man on earth
But by God
I do declare
I will be a rich woman in heaven
There my Father has many riches
And He will share all the spoils with me
And all those things
That I just thought I needed
Will be the very stuff I walk on
Right under my feet

God listens
And He sees me
He hears me
Even when nobody else does
And I cannot tell you how many times
Jesus has instructed me
To be patient and hold down the line
“Daughter, you’ll be fine.”

(Taking a breath now…)
(This stuff becomes easier,
The more you do it)

It’s almost as if
I never stopped

I am so sorry, everyone
I’m listening now

Please,
Tell me your concerns

And I will share with you
The Word
That God has for you

 

sukuyomi-vari_change-wind

Artist Unknown

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3 thoughts on “New Year, New Poem

  1. Beautifully worded. You have a gift continue to share until Abba calls you home because even if your words reach one soul the angles I heaven rejoice. I support you sis!

  2. Pingback: (Jan. 17) Vol. 7, No. 1 – shnewsletter

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