I recently viewed a contest prompt on a forum I frequent, and it read as follows:
“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
On reading this, the following poem began picking in my mind, phrase by phrase, which is often how I write. Having gone through a bit of a dry spell, at least as far as free verse is concerned of late, I found the notion of being forbidden to write, if only somehow by oneself, quite easy to relate to. As I so often do, I drew my image, which became the extended metaphor,from nature:
On Sting Of Sleet
I am last lonely leaf, December-desiccated
and shriveled-sere, buffeted and blasted by winter’s
bitter bite, wafting without bond and bend of bough
or link of limb. From trunk I am untethered, of essential
eons’ store and share deprived and dispossessed.
I flutter futilely, no vivid vernal golden-greens to flood
me with forsythia’s inks, nor summer’s softer hues
to saturate with glaucous grace of silver maple-muse.
Nor shall I ever be imbued with wonder-wane
of late September’s charming chlorophyll-cheat,
splendidly infused with scarlet, gold, and bronze.
For I am simply aimless and adrift, from sustenance
and stylus segregated. My dun and dull demise
is sure and certain as gusty northern gales
wallop-whip my brown hole-riddled lifeless shell
on sting of sleet and fatal flakes of flying snow.
© Carol Knepper 2010