Sunday, November 22, 2015

ACCEPTANCE: Benefits of Writing Poetry

Poems often start out headed in one direction and suddenly take an unexpected turn. This poem, Acceptance, surprised me because I thought its ending would reveal a difficulty requiring, well, acceptance! Instead, the words led to a more pleasant ending. Of course, the opposite is also possible, a lesson I learned as time went on and more poems took shape. 

One benefit of writing a renshi-form of poetry is knowing how the next poem will begin. By using the final words of the previous poem to entitle the next, the decision is already made. All that is required is to allow the words to flow, to release the thoughts buried deep inside of you without censure.

Maybe that is the Acceptance of this particular poem. Grant yourself a personal form of acceptance, one that will allow you to surrender to indulgence. The conditions listed at the start of the poem, stillness, inner focus, relaxed breathing, feel almost hypnotic in their release of control. Accept this, rather than attempting to maintain a strict discipline. 

The photograph I chose to accompany this poem, from my eclectic and rather amateurish collection, offers a sense of calm that complements the poem’s decelerating pace. I had no image in mind as I wrote the words. In fact, I had no preconceived ideas of the direction each poem would take or how they would tie together as a whole once completed. Had I set such a goal, the collaboration of words, motives, and images, my project would have no end. 

I choose completion over perfection every time.



Lack of motion

Limited sight

Slow breathing

Diminished thought

Absence of concern

Exhalation of relief

All this and more

As one accepts release

Falling gradually,

or fast

Time and again

With ever increasing pleasure

Into nightly blessed sleep.

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