by Leslie Thomson
One night late after midnight,
A poet sat with pen in hand,
Surrounded by crumpled up paper,
No words came to his command.
In his house there crept a poem,
Full of smarm and beguiling;
Just out of reach of the poet,
It stood there, sardonically smiling.
“Do I elude you, poet?”
Said the poem with mocking tone,
“Do I keep you awake at night,
And won’t ever leave you alone?”
The poet snatched at the poem,
Which stayed outwith his grasp.
He cursed at the elusive creature,
Who laughed with a throaty rasp.
“Poem how did you get in here?
And why won’t you give me peace?”
Asked the poet of the poem,
“I am tired and need release.”
“Why do you evade my clutches?
And keep me awake so very disturbed?
After all, I am a poet;
I am King of the written word.”
“Oh such grand conceit,” mocked the poem,
“To think this is your life to choose.
You are the king of NOTHING;
You are but servant to the muse.”
“You know your mind is not your own,
And words are beyond your control.
You merely scribble what is dictated;
You will write what you are told.”
“It is true,” bemoaned the poet,
“I asked not to be entranced.
To spend time with words evading me,
And leading me in merry dance.”
“Yet I would never want to escape it,
For I love the written word so.
The muse has me in her clutches,
And I never want her to let go.”
“So you tell me poem,” said the poet,
Just what is a poor poet to do,
When I’m distracted day and night,
And haunted by creatures like you?”
“You try too hard at times,” said the poem,
“That is why we lead you on this chase.
Each poem is like a lover;
We must be ready to embrace.”
And the poem slipped into the poet’s clutch,
And only then did he understand,
That he would never be king or master,
The muse is always in command.
His mind at once was inspired
And he continued the work he planned;
Contented and filled with love,
For the poem in his hand.
So when you look for inspiring verse,
To enlighten your life or fulfil,
Remember a poem will not be forced;
It must come of its own free will.
He closed his account, I reposted his masterpiece.