Don’t look down.

Before I start this post let me give a little back story. In sixth grade I discovered poetry. I don’t remember if it was forced upon me in school or what, but I was instantly in love. I loved reading it and even more I loved writing it. And all through middle school and high school whenever I had a crush on a boy, a fight with my parents, a good day with my friends or anything else memorable in my life, I turned it into a poem. I had a whole freaking book of them.

However, my poetry writing sort of faded away as I was in college and was instead replaced by keeping a journal. I really had no need for poems when I got there, I just wanted to remember everything as it happened and not as some rhyme fest of emotions.

But eventually that changed and I needed poetry again. I remember I went to a dance recital at school and with the programs they handed out this poem with it and I was inspired. Inspired to write something simple with meaning, something with unforced rhymes, something that would make other people think. So the next semester I signed up for poetry writing and had that poem taped to the inside of my binder the whole time….

Flash forward to three days ago when I was cleaning stuff up in my room and I found the poem, still taped to my binder looking over all the poems I wrote that year. And I still loved it. So no, I’m not sharing one of my poems but I will share the poem that inspired me. It’s simple and almost sad, but it makes you think and that’s what I like most about it. So here goes, hope you like it:

20 years on a tightrope

twenty years on a tightrope
under a canvas sky,
to please a crowd of green gorillas
while i walk and cry,
and nearly fall from dizziness,
and nearly die from loneliness,
but always seeking happiness,
under a canvas sky.
but i’ll be walking ninety years,
slipping, calling, never falling,
only feeling the fear of falling,
only feeling the fear to die,
to please a crowd of green gorillas
under a canvas sky.

-bill dickey