My old friend Margaret Barkley wrote this poem about the writing process. I asked her if I could share it here. Please do not forward it on without her permission.
Fistfuls of Heart
If everyone has something to say,
how is a writer different?
The desire to write, to commit words to paper,
is like deciding to let your own arm reach
down your throat
and muck about with your insides,
grabbing fistfuls of heart, teeth, and
and pull it out for everyone to see.
And I wonder why I have
Just sit in the chair, they say.
And I do, but I’m dodgy about it.
There is always something safer to do,
like laundry, for example,
that extracts no blood at all.
Maybe all prophets and storytellers
are reluctant – I don’t know about that –
but I know that there comes a time
when there is a clamor of words in order
from within, saying –
Hey, write me down!
and they harass me till I do.
© Margaret Barkley, April 16, 2015