Monday, August 29, 2016

On Writing Poetry

This may be crazy talk, but I am close to being frustrated enough with what is available for congregational singing in churches to create my own offerings.  This requires two things, just to start, and then more to continue.  To start, the two requirements are:  1. Lyrics. 2. Music.

I mentioned to someone once that the poets of today are not publishing books of poetry.  They are writing lyrics for songs.  The person with whom I was speaking disagreed with that statement, but I think I'll stand by it.  Almost all of the exposure most people get to poetry comes in the form of song lyrics.

Composing music comes easily to me.  The first time I did it was when I was a teen playing the organ for a wedding.  There was a delay and I was out of music.  I didn't want to go back to start again on one of my songs, so I just wandered through a typical chord progression, weaving an impromptu melody until we were ready to proceed.  As far as I know, no one noticed.  Composing good music may be beyond me, but if all we need is a melody for some words, it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Poetry, on the other hand ...  This is not part of my skill set.  It would be nice to find someone else to do that part, but I haven't found such a person.  While I wait, I suppose I may as well try my own hand at it and see what emerges.

That said, here is attempt #1:

  It stirs up fear in me,
  In my heart. It's an art
  I don't know.

  How can I let it flow
  From my heart to the place
  I would go?

Words on words
Must they rhyme?
Must they beat
Out in time?

More than words,
Thoughts unfurled.
Seeking space
In this world.

  I must perfect this art
  If I want to impart
  To the heart

Of this world
  All the stuff I feel
  Swelling up in my heart
  Full and real.

  Is it my destiny?
  To write words never heard,
  Never shared?

  May be the death of me.
  How can I squeeze my thoughts
  Into rhyme beating time?
  How can words stuck in structure
  Lead the life that I picture
  For the fruit of my work
  In poetry?