The Writer (2010)

by angryhippie

On a cold winter’s eve
On a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with a writer
Both far too haunted to sleep.
So we took turns a-sharin
Our attempts to tame the darkness,
His words they overtook me,
And I began to weep.

He said, “Son, I’ve lived this life
Out of notebooks and off pages,
Knowing what each verse holds
Long before they reach my eyes,
And if you don’t mind my sayin’
I can feel yours as it rages,
For a hit of your sweet leaf
I’ll help you with this vice.”

So I passed him my old dugout
And his weathered smile it followed,
Then he packed the hitter up,
And asked me for a light.
And the night closed in around us,
As shadows carved out his expression
He said, “If you’re going to wield the words, boy,
You’ve gotta learn, to wield them right!”

“You’ve got to know when to lead them.
Know when to bleed them.
Know what you need to say.
Know when it’s done.
You can recount your life’s scars
From what you’re leaving on the pages,
There’ll be time enough for healin’
Once the words have come!”

“Every writer knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is to take in every thing you can
And let it cut you deep.
‘Cause every cut is vital
But every cut is deadly,
So if your words do not release them,
They’ll haunt you in your sleep.”

And when he finished speakin’
He faded into the darkness,
My heart leapt up into my throat,
As I startled from my sleep.
And somewhere from the shadows
The writer he was calling,
And from within his words
I found a verse that I would keep.

“You’ve got to know when to lead them.
Know when to bleed them.
Know what you need to say.
Know when it’s done.
You can recount your life’s scars
From what you’re leaving on the pages,
There’ll be time enough for healin’
Once the words have come!”

You’ve got to know when to leave them.
When to believe them.
Know when to bare it all.
Know when you’re done.
You cannot count each impact
That you’re having with the pages
There’s just time enough to leave them
And hope they reach someone!

I’ve got to know when to lead them.
Know when to bleed them.
Know what I need to say.
Know when I’m done.
I can recount my life’s scars
From what I’ve left here on the pages,
Now it’s time to let these wounds heal,
Now all the words have come…

(12/02/10)

This poem completes my fourth collection of poetic works. Each collection contains a hundred poems, and this particular collection was began in July 2006, taking just over four years to bring to a close. This piece is based off of the song The Gambler, written by Don Schlitz and recorded by Kenny Rogers.