Writing poetry bends my soul as I place the words on the page. In that twisting way I ring the water out of a dish cloth. Publishing my poetry is like blowing dandelion puffs – I pray that each tender seed is carried to a receptive heart because my dreams have hitched a ride and to have them squelched is a terrible thing. It’s like tossing water on to a life-giving fire.
A Poet On Publishing
I wish I could but I just can’t.
Or maybe it’s more like I just shan’t!
Publish my poetry – are you kidding me?
Putting it out there for others to read?
Give the world a glimpse into my heart?
Let them criticize my soul’s art?
Besides, nobody’s publishing poetry these days
It’s an endless, relentless rejection maze.
Why should I put myself out there?
Do you really think anyone else will care?
What would my words look like on the printed page,
My faith, my dreams and even my rage?
Although I live and walk in the Light,
My poems reveal my heart’s darkest nights.
Would anyone read something written by me?
I think that I’ll just let it be.
Unpublished is the way to go,
I’ll avoid this public talent show.
Tucked in a file drawer where no one can see
Is the best place my poems can be.
Help someone else I heard you say,
So why don’t you blaze the way?
You burned up your words a long time ago,
And left a pile of ashes and a bit of afterglow.
Oh – you’ve written more since then?
Have you shared them? Where and When?
This sounds so easy for you.
So what do you think I should do?
It’s not up to you to decide?
Then I think I prefer to stay and hide.
Do you believe my poems really matter?
Unkindness might cause my heart to shatter.
I’m not sure that I can take the chance,
My words might sing but can they dance?
I know I won’t know until I try,
But the effort might cause the words to die.
Again I hear you say the choice is mine,
And that either way I’ll be just fine.
You want me to listen to my inner voice –
I’m a poet Joy – I have no other choice.
That voice speaks to me day and night,
Delivering words I’m compelled to write.
But, publishing them might be too much,
I might not even have the real touch.
You know the ways of publication,
I won’t be able to stand the humiliation,
I know rejection waits for me
I cannot do that – don’t you see?
These words are the breath of my soul,
Publishing has never been the goal.
And yet I have to agree with you –
I want to write and be read too.
How will I balance these opposing thoughts?
And what will be the final cost?
I feel a transition moving in,
And don’t know exactly how to begin.
Are you ever so scared your soul seems to shake?
This is a risk I’m not sure I can take. . .
The risk I mean is the one where
I hide my poems and refuse to share.
Where I keep the words in a hidden place
and refuse to give them a public space.
There’s one more thing I have to know
Before I release my words for show. . .
Will you share this poem with anyone?
Writing like you’re me must have been fun.
© Joy DeKok
Do you publish your poetry?
Until Next Time,