I call myself a poet, irrespective of the quality of my poems and the number of people who read them.
This is because being a poet isn’t really a number game. It isn’t really a choice.
What makes a poet a poet?
We’re emotional people, easily swayed by our emotions. We are given to bouts of depression because the world seems grey but more importantly, the world can seem bleak. We can swirl in a medley of colours, float on the surface of a dream for hours. We aren’t really living in the moment but breathing in the moment and letting it live in us.
A full moon isn’t just a full moon. It is magic.
A beautiful song isn’t just a beautiful song. It is a reason to cry or laugh or both and not know why.
The depths of despair are a deep, dark pit full of more fears than we can put to paper.
We don’t know how to say half the things we mean to say. Only a small fraction of thoughts slip out through our poems.
We see people through a lens, non-judgmental, peaceful, accepting.
We can be bitter to the core and heated to the extreme. We can be loving, passionate, full of so many feelings at the same time that they overwhelm us and then we have to put pen to paper and pour our thoughts out.
It isn’t an option.
We may find ourselves dying, constricted, suffocated. We may feel imprisoned behind invisible walls,unable to escape and crying for help and a means to let out the pain.
The only escape is to write down what we are feeling. To give vent to our emotions.
When we are flowing with our words, nothing matters to us. Other people, food, water, the call of nature. The whole world becomes black and white and recedes behind some invisible line. We are caught alone in the waves of our emotions. We don’t care about anything else, even breathing. We are just a living, breathing instrument. Pulling words out is the goal of our life. The only thing that can ever mean anything. It doesn’t matter if there are a thousand deadlines waiting for us. The poetry is the only sacred object of our life.
We see painful details others won’t. The tiniest details out on the street pop out in excruciating detail. The devastating exquisiteness of the world cradles us in its arms and we don’t know where we are going. We feel things we don’t want to, we shouldn’t have to. And then we feel things we hope nobody else can because we passionately want to own them. We can be silent for hours but the silence holds a thousand meaningful conversations inside it.
We can be the harbingers of hopelessness and inspiration at the same time.
We don’t always know what we want to say until we’re done saying it. We aren’t always talking from our consciousness. We are broken people who become whole only through our words.
We make stories and weave fairy tales out of ordinary events. We add sparkling emotions to dryness and drabness. We make things bigger. We cry for people and things that never existed. We long for those we will never have, for those who touched our lives fleetingly and then disappeared forever. We long to be a part of stories that were never ours to begin with. We feel for those who we were never meant to feel for. We see through the illusory nature of life and make things out of vacuum. We feel like we are nothing. And then, in just another moment, we feel like we are everything. We own the world and the world owns us.
We struggle to be understood, we fail to explain why we can break down in the middle of a perfectly ordinary day, brushed aside by the cruelty of life and her hate while shopping at the supermarket. We count the hours till the end of a workday when we can be alone with our echoing thoughts. We let photographs talk to us. We fill notebooks with our darkest feelings.
We feel lost when something becomes extraordinary in our eyes but for everyone else, it is just another moment. We know our profoundness is felt by different people at different moments in their own lives but never at the same as ours. We understand that this means they will judge us and make fun of us. But we also know that there will be moments when they’ll know exactly what we’re talking about, even if they go around thinking they are too dense for poetry.
We know that poetry permeates through the layers of existence, coming out of at the end of the day as a connected thread flowing through every single incident, event and momentous visions that light our life. We let it uplift us into a transcendental platform where anything is possible.
We see too much and then we realize that what we are seeing is just a tiny fraction of everything beyond. We can capture just bits and pieces of our agony, our empathy, our joys and sorrows . We are living under the belly of utter chaos. We see a skewed world but accept that everyone else does too, they just don’t know it.
We are living in the age of technology. But we’re hovering feet above the ground.
Accompanying trance-inducing song: Out of the Woods, Taylor Swift.