The Power of Poetry -- For "Big Mike"
Throughout the past few years, I have had a love-hate relationship with poetry. On one hand, I love it because it's inspirational and creative, but on the other hand, I hate it because sometimes it can be hard to understand, and the words never come out quite right when I try my hand at writing. You know, like when you're drawing a picture and you can see it beautifully in your mind, but when you try to put it down on paper, it just looks like a bunch of ill-formed stick people and maybe something that slightly resembles a tree.
I have made several attempts at penning my own original poems in the past, but often times ended up feeling discouraged and unsuccessful, thereby concluding that I have no business dealing with poems.
However, I've recently come to a point in my life where I realized that writing poetry, no matter how poem-like it really turns out to be, is extremely beneficial.
For me, poems are a way to express what I am feeling, especially about subjects which I am passionate about. I've found that poetry can provide healing. Poetry can inspire. Poetry can awaken the heart and inspire emotion like other things can't. It can be lighthearted or it can even help you wrestle with thoughts, questions, and situations that may weigh heavy on your mind. Poetry can be written in a multitude of styles -- in free verse, with rhymes, similes, and metaphors, and set to music or spoken word. There can be poems about love, about nature, about politics, or about people and places and things. The opportunities are endless.
I recently fell into a situation which deeply affected my mindset and sense of self-worth. In fact, this situation weighed on my heart so immensely that it began affecting my mental health, relationships, and motivation levels. I could not stop thinking about it and how it made me feel inside, and I didn't know how to dig myself up out of the rut it put me in.
That's when I decided to write a poem. A slam poem, to be exact (well, an attempt at one anyway, haha). I wasn't exactly sure why or how, but when I sat down to write, the words just flowed out, and as every line built atop another, a weight was slowly lifted higher and higher off of my shoulders. I cannot even begin to explain to you how a simple poem managed to free my mind from being utterly consumed with unwanted thoughts and emotions.
That's the power of poetry, I guess.
Therefore, no matter how good or bad you believe your poetry skills might be, I encourage you to just write. I can speak from personal experience when I say that sitting down with a pen and paper and simply recording your thoughts is a growing process in itself. Try not to get caught up in how good you think it sounds, how much rhythm it appears to have, or whether or not you can get every word to rhyme. As long as you are clearly communicating your thoughts, you will benefit from writing it. And remember, whether or not you ever do anything with your poem, the simple act of writing it will help you think, heal, change, and grow.
I truly believe that sometimes blank papers have the best listening ears -- you just have to fill them up.
The poem below is the one I wrote in response to the aforementioned situation. Although it is a very personal poem, I am sharing it in hopes that it may help others think, heal, change or grow. Enjoy!
Also, this photo is completely unrelated, but I took it while I was living in Montana this summer and wanted to post it somewhere 😉
For “Big Mike”
You write poetry-- now here’s a poem for you.One night you contacted me out of the blue.
Asked how I was doing.
For the record, I thought it was strange.
Why me? We don’t really know each other.
But I’m polite, and you’re easy to talk to.
You seemed like a cool guy,
And you reached out for some reason,
So I obliged you.
What you did, I said was okay.
But it’s not.
When you asked, I said I wasn’t mad.
But my anger was burning up on the inside.
You targeted me like a deer in headlights
And lured me in with a conversation of faith.
Oh, the irony.
Was your talk of becoming right with God again even real?
Maybe I’m naive,
But it didn’t take me long to figure it out.
You tried to take advantage of my kindness--
And my body.
“I wana see youu”
“What you wearin”
“I got horny and started thinkin bout you”
Do you even hear yourself?
And the worst part was that you made me feel
Like I was the one who should be saying sorry.
Like I was in the wrong somehow.
Like it wasn’t fair of me to say no.
Like “it would be fun.”
Like I should be interested.
Like this is how normal Christian men treat women.
But when I said “no thanks,” you were mad.
Honestly, you made me feel worthless.
You changed my optimistic outlook of life and people.
You made me feel like an object. You made me feel used.
But, I’m here to tell you that I’m a person too, and I’m not here for your sexual gratification.
I wish I had told you all of this.
But I wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it, and I brushed it off
Saying that “I’ll be praying for you,” and “I’m here if you need anything.”
Which, for the record, are both still true.
You need to know that whatever “this” was is not okay.
It’s selfish, it’s despicable, and it’s perverse.
And if you truly wanna “jump back into the fellowship and grow with Him,”
This isn’t even mildly close to how you start.
You were right when you said we all need Him.
We’re all sinners.
I hope you embrace Him and let His grace cleanse you.
I hope you find Him and live for more than just the flesh.
“He calls us to wild lives” and I hope you follow,
Cause His spirit is pursuing me,
And it’s pursuing you.
See you in the Kingdom of Heaven, dude.