Poem: The Creative

Enkidu

Enkidu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inspiration is a leech on the
creature of conflict. How much
better it would be if our lives were
merely plain and ordinary, transcending
this light and shade, our existence
reliant only on plucking fruit
from a tree, cupping clean
water from a stream; and that
all my words and lines,
such as they are,
derived solely from love and light.

But we’ve seen to it, you
and me, have decided
to find out and exaggerate
every little nuance we have, to look across
at each other from these
dubious divides with poison eyes, our fixed
minds like two scorpions in a bottle.
And what we can’t steal or bribe or starve
from each other, we will fight for
to the end, till every last
sap of strength and all our blood is gone –
for that sweet taste of victory.

We’ve all spoken these platitudes,
though only seldom act
or relent. Even in our shadowy beginnings
the weary Gilgamesh knew; primeval
battles between dark
and light still raging on inside.
His remorse and grief leap out
at us from figures in dried clay like
they were made today, a reflection
of ourselves, our tears,
the lessons never learned. So,
if you must – go ahead.
Do your worst! Though please
make it your best
and I will write, endlessly

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

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17 thoughts on “Poem: The Creative

  1. love the mixing in of myths here…if our lives were merely plain and ordinary…how easy it would be but also how boring…the contrasts..what an empty canvas would life be without them.. well spun…

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  2. Your first line will stick with me for a long while. Vivid images throughout, especially:

    to look across
    at each other from these
    dubious divides with poison eyes, our fixed
    minds like two scorpions in a bottle

    Like

  3. Well, just eating fruit from trees didn’t seem to work out so well for some couples! To me, this is a very interesting poem of artists living together. I don’t know if I have that right, but that problem of the contemplative and recorded life is a difficult one for a couple I think –for any relationship –and to me you’ve gotten it down very well. Those middle eastern sculptures are about my favorites–Assyrian too–something so vivid and present. Much enjoyed. k.

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  4. our fixed
    minds like two scorpions in a bottle.
    And what we can’t steal or bribe or starve
    from each other, we will fight for…wow great description there…i really like the play of worst and best there in the end as well david…

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  5. If there was no darkness, how would we know what light is? We need both, despite the fact that we find one less comfortable than the other.

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  6. Hi. I have always liked the story of Gilgamesh. In your poem, I like the lines: ‘reliant only on plucking fruit
    from a tree, cupping clean
    water from a stream’ Jane

    Like

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