Free Verse

And she was not light

She was not dark

She was a barren land

Where nothing grew

Not grass,

Not weed,

Not wild life

She was the high land

The mountain cap

Whose tip was covered

In snow

That bit of water

That splashes on your feet when you’re sitting on the shore

She was amnesia

Memory loss

A temporary sensory disabling

The frugal effect

That comes with drinking

Just the right amount of alcohol

The coloration of the rainbow

And then they say

Words can never be

Substitutes for life

That they can only go so far

And reach out

Without touching

Well tonight I

The writer

Can feel you

Can touch you

Can tuck you in

Next to me

Through the words

That I stay up

All night

To write

There is no better time

There is no ideal time

For me – for any writer

To write them down

To have a woman belong to him

We are

Like the geniuses

The eccentric scientists

The mad mathematicians

Who jump out of their beds

In the middle of the night

Just to jot down

A complex formula.

Well, today I draw my formula

On the big white board

In letters

And verses

And watch it grow and thicken

And expand

To the point of covering the universe

And connecting all the atoms

Together

And I sit and weep sometimes

When I am sleep-deprived

Or love-deprived

Or alcohol-deprived

And remember

I have traded these things;

No,

I have given up these things

Temporarily

Or permanently

I might’ve let go of these things

And left them behind

For good

Like a farmer

Walking away from the field

After working tirelessly in it

Leaving nothing but a scarecrow behind

To look after it and guard it.

I am

The scarecrow

In my story

I am the farmer

That cowardly leaves his most prized and cherished

Possessions behind

I am the man

Who lives in a little house

With an empty pantry

Empty closets

Empty beds

Empty drawers

Empty picture frames

What is being asked

Of me here?

And what is asked

Of all of you?

Nothing,

But a little revealing faith

To take the blinds

Off your eyes:

There is much wisdom

Between these lines

And if you manage to find it

Or make up a three-letter word

Out of it

Then you hold

The key to all life

And all that is living.

And to you

Dear woman,

Lovely creature

Warmly tucked

In my bed;

Here is the answer

To my riddle

Above

I give to you

Plainly

As a show of faith

And gratitude

For your eternal supply

Of love

And affection.

The answer

To the eternal question

Is ART

And it will keep coming back

No matter how fast the globe orbits

No matter how many more planets

They discover

No matter how many formulas

They validate

The recurring answer

To our madness

To our problems

To our troubles and trials and tribulations

To our sadness and separations

The answer

Is ART

Music

Lyrics

Words

Painted walls

Massive sculptures

ART produced by people

For people

And when you find that answer

Again

This time

On your own

Only then

Will you understand

Its true meaning.

***

Be sure to check out my debut novel, A Road Away From Home, now available on Amazon and in paperback.

A Road Away From Home – Hanna Abi Akl

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