Pen in Hand

The call to write arises,
as if people were emerging
out of a cloud in a steam room,
asking where you’ve been, saying
they have something to tell you.
Then, with your blessings,
they walk right inside you,
telling their stories, but using your mind,
your wellspring of emotions,
your memories, your life energy.
The words flow out of you,
sometimes dripping slowly,
like honey poured from a jar,
sometimes electrified, rushing so fast that
your hand cramps with the need to keep up.

An inexhaustible storehouse of beauty,
these visitors, calling forth deep care,
reverence even, inside—as you
fulfill your obligation, and privilege,
to assist these denizens from another world,
to help them come alive here—
so we can feel their breath
and flesh and smiles and wisdom,
their sinews climbing up impassable
mountains, struggling to be born—
until they finally unfurl themselves,
spread their wings, and sail
onto the paper
under your fingers.

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