I wish I could show
the beauty I see in you
when love looks through me
Many poets say that their poems just come to them, often fully formed. This is both how I usually write poems and why I haven’t written a lot more poetry. Usually it starts with some phrase that floats around my head for a while. Sometimes that’s all there is. I’ve had some phrases floating around my head for years that I’ve never figured out what to do with. (“A sense of the color of things” is my favorite.) But sometimes, I can get a couple more lines worked out, and I’ll sit down to write. When I’m really lucky, all the rest is just there. There’s always fiddling to be done, but the body of the poem has been provided.
For the last several days, the lines above have been floating around my head, but every time I sat down to write anything with them, I couldn’t go a single word further. This afternoon, I typed them out and once again couldn’t go any further. So I sat with it a minute and it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t supposed to go any further. I counted up the syllables and sure enough, I had a serviceable haiku.
It had been there all along. I just needed to stop trying to make it into something it wasn’t and look at it a little differently. Much like life sometimes we’re so busy trying to get things to me the way we think they are supposed to be that we miss what is. Maybe if we thought to stop and look a little differently more often, we would discover that everything has been alright the whole time.