I have been a walker for years now.
I remember it beginning in high school. Whenever I needed time to think I would walk. They need not be long walks, though some went on for hours. I would wander around the baseball diamonds and outdoor stage of my hometown, taking generally the same route with some slight alterations. I found that I rarely came to any conclusions on these walks, but I would feel better after.
Later, in university, I continued these walks. I came to see them as a mind cleansing exercise. Usually not focusing on whatever was on my mind, but rather letting my mind float to wherever it might go. I became fascinated by the realization that by the end of the walk my mind would have gone to places I never would have been able to predict at the beginning.
As I've explored the creative sides of myself it is this sort of creation that has interested me the most. That there might be things in my head that I am not aware of. That stuff might come out of my pen (or fingers on the keyboard) that I might not see coming.
In that spirit I joined a forty eight hour poetry writing competition that happened a few weeks ago. It was put on by CV2, a journal of poetry and critical writing based in Winnipeg, MB. Contestants were given ten words that had to be used, as given, in a single poem, and only forty eight hours to write it. As given means exactly that. No changing tenses, no pluralizing, and they needed to be used properly, no making up phony definitions to suit your needs or pretending it is a name of a character.
I loved the idea of being given a strict framework then allowing my mind to wander where it may. I ended up writing two poems during that weekend. One I sent in and is being currently judged against the others, the other I would like to share with you. I would encourage everyone to try and take some time to let your mind wander. It can be amazing where it will take you.
The Face of Grief
You pluck your eyebrows
until there is nothing left.
Abrade those sturdy little hairs
that wend towards the entrance (of your soul?),
causing the skin to coalesce. A face
smooth as your child's once was.
This somehow represents all
that you lost.
I suppose it is about the control
of a brush.
The tickle of fine foam above those salient orbs.
A single line
lengthened or kept barren only by choice. An
fast or left adrift in that empty harbour you
find yourself in.
But then foundation by the scoop
helps to hide as the
garrulous face of the blind-
folded lady calls to calm
the waves rising and falling.
Deep beneath that cover you pan
the oval mass and finally meet
the face of your grief.