Notes on a Poem



Lines Last

after Chris Rice

● ● ●

It was the very last lines

Of “Our Best Minds”

That compelled me to risk:

Return prodigal pen to poetry.

“Where are you now?” he wrote.

You with the great art in you, where are you?

“Withering unknown on your dying bed

Because you were afraid to risk?”

Well, that great person is not me but

I wondered what could be if

I spilled a little more ink and

Learned to live with the mess.

Who knows?

My pen could free a line

To liberate

Another soul as shy, but great.

I need never know.

I need only create.

Michael Stalcup

I read this yesterday and I thought it beautiful and thought provoking. I haven’t always been a fan of poetry but I’m realizing as I get older that these short written snippets have a way of getting to the heart of a matter. And this was no exception. What if, what I do, what I create using the gifts God has given me, compels another towards their own form of poetry in their life? Poetry in ancient Greek means, “I create.”

Everyone creates, maybe not on an artist easel or by writing a poem or choreographing a ballet. Law enforcement creates an atmosphere of security, a nurse creates comfort and care, a teacher kindles young minds bringing questions out from the darkness of the mind. I’m sure you get it. As a child of God’s you have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Could I possibly pick up the wasting, spending in vain, prodigal? Or do I leave it “withering unknown on your bed.” Yes, you the one afraid to risk. It is liberating to know if God has shown you what to do it doesn’t matter if you think you are good at it or not. It’s sort of harsh how God can tell us that. It’s just a feeling and a feeling can’t get me to the right action, but the right action can get me to the right feelings.

So pick up that work, whatever it is, whether you get paid or not, whether you are able to deem yourself good enough at it or not. No one will ever see the world through your eyes again so wonderfully and carefully made. “Spill a little more ink and learn to live with the mess.” You don’t even need to be noticed….just create.

To read more from this poet: https://thecultivatingproject.com/lines-last/

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