In childhood I danced to another tune,
so odd, I thought the gypsies had left me.
At nine I awoke to the call of creativity,
for a golden hour or two. Up and down
the alphabet I travelled, eyeing up words,
never finding the same word-flute twice.
Being of two hearts I wanted to be liked,
but secretly I longed to be the real thing.
A is for alcohol not the ruddy red apple
I grasped, while watching in fear as booze
transformed my lonely, introverted father
into a wild, highly dramatic personality.
Elvis, all shook up, drunk on tramp juice.
Mute, I spoke only in hesitant sentences,
for I would rather heed the silences of life
than listen to the cruel vagaries of his ego.
Alcohol lashed my father, washed away
his soul-vision and courageous brushes.
Yet I felt the push to unearth my father’s
language, where shadows must be faced.
For darkness and light meet in each soul,
arriving and leaving in numinous ways.
This is how the artist, I guess, must pay
for inflaming and wearing out the heart.
Father, thank you for applying the pain
so thickly, for making an artist out of me.
All my years I have been wakening to this;
your sorrow has become the joy of my life.
I shed tears at this heroic understanding,
revering each of your wild, savage blows.
To right the ruin, I move closer to the soul,
hold near the mysterious stranger within.
Kiss your inner earth dear poet. Love it.
Receive the muse, heed the call to awaken,
work hard to shape your creative visions.
Love everything. Seek folly, seek wisdom.
Let others receive and face in themselves
that same call to creativity as your own.
Let your wild heart pirouette, lay bare
to all dancers, the language of the world.
Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2016
Image credit: Google Images