Tonight I cracked open a folder marked “High School Poetry (Mine & Cirriculum)”[sic] from the box of stuff I’ve carried for nearly 20 years that I’m now trying to pare down. Inside are dozens of explicated poems by real poets. There are also about a half-dozen of my attempts at flattering imitation, these all were evaluated and commented on by my tenth grade English teacher, Mr. S.
There are 2 poems of mine in the pile which Mr. S. encouraged me to type and submit to the school’s literary magazine, but I didn’t have the confidence then to even give it a second thought.
Now in this impromptu retrospective I’m ready to let go of everything in this folder except one of those two poems of mine. I am publishing it here for the whole world, but especially for Mr. S.
No Matter Where I Look
No matter where I look, I can’t find direction;
There is no destination for my future.
And whatever I do to find ambition
The search is a dead end;
There’s no shining light to guide,
Not so much as a flicker from the fire of inspiration
Within myself to brighten the way.
And whatever truths I seek
Turn to fleeting interests which leave me
Worse off than before I found them
And whatever holds any passion,
Is only a foolish child’s dream
And whatever happens through the day
Makes hope wish not to exist
And still I carry on.