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The Poet's Task

by Helen Murray

A poet is a man with words,
And words a weapon are.
His words are sharply stropped and so
He makes them travel far.
He makes them cover many miles,
Emotive ones at that,
Digest those miles, absorbs their styles,
Gestate them, thinking back.
Then, having indigestion, our
Young poet now must crumble,
Or re-invest those travelled words
In a new song, strong but humble.
He reaches in to get the feel,
He crawls to depths un-shared.
He wonders is that’s all there is
And dances with despair.
But he reaches out to touch
The great Designing Hand
By whom all things were made, who took
That great creative stand,
Whose mind spun wildly when He thought
Of making man like Him,
With vivid sensitivities,
A heart to reach and dream.
He stretches, and the Hand is there
To touch and know the power
Of gentle sensitivity
In this harmonious hour.
He starts to write he knows not what,
Marvels at the sight
Of these rich words that tumble out
In order neat and tight,
The words are sharp. They know their place.
Their rhythms dance and play.
He dances too, though the tune is new,
The words make no delay.
They place themselves before his eyes.
His eyebrows on the rise,
His eyes wide open watching while
His hand the keyboard plies.
He takes a breath before he reads
What he has written down.
His heart expands, and satisfied,
He thinks of what he had inside
And finds it grandly multiplied
While he seems just the clown.

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This poem was a finalist in the November 2016 poetry contest

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Click Here to contact Helen Murray to request permission to use this poem.