No.215: A Canvas With a Paintbrush


does every poem need to be “fire”? 
does every stanza need to sing?
does every line need to be a masterpiece
before I muster the will to let a piece of me be seen?

is it okay
to still be
a work in progress?
some days, I feel like
an unfinished canvas with a paintbrush 
I’m not quite sure how to use. 
the other days, I bet all that’s left of me is pride. 
I believe the lie
that I can juggle the universe in my own right,
‘cause after all,
ain’t that what it means to be a rising star — 
to be the one that everything else revolves around?

is chronic self-doubt anything more 
than the side effect of an ego on roids?
what are the odds
that every unwelcome voice
that has parked in the rooms of my mind
would just fade away
if the art was just 
if the time I set aside to write was more like my daily tithe of the soul
to play with words and mold a blank canvas with truth 
than a means to a status boost 
in the form of a so-called platform I can use
to change the world for good,
as if my efforts ain’t, in the end,
just a way to etch my name in stone
so people remember me when I’m gone?

what if it wasn’t that serious?
would I write 
without holding my breath the entire time?
would I smile and thank God for the simple privilege of being able to rhyme and tinker with unspoken sound?
would I calm down?
would I finally understand grace?
would I finally enjoy the race, 
knowing that the only one racing me
is who I was yesterday? 
would I wake up in the morning and say,
it’s good to be alive,
would I finally, paradoxically, be ready to die,
would this little light of mine shine like a sun in its prime,
would that kinda life be a better use of my time,

would I be a better reflection of God?
would you?

Cover Photo by Amaury Salas on Unsplash