By Madison Dykes

To Be a Writer

There’s a stir in the air,
Something you can’t quite place.
It rises and it fades,
Into the dislocated space—
Where dreams are born.
 
Always with an image or phrase,
Do these musings spring
Consuming your minds-eye—
Until you pick up your pencil,
Ready to empty the now overfilling headspace.
 
As your palaces and kingdoms swell around you.
Everything becomes possible—
Achievable even.
Adrenaline courses through,
And you feel ready to begin.
 
Only to be interrupted, by the silencer of all thoughts—
The Crippler, the bully if you will.
 That comes skulking about,
Causing your hand to hover and twitch—
 Over the now, looming blank page.
 
Did the page always look this intimidating?
You think to yourself.
Like a bright, mocking oblivion,
It glares its soulless lines at you—
 Daring you to even try to begin.
 
Suddenly your images you saw in your minds-eye,
Aren’t nearly as captivating and vivid as they were before.
So you sigh, dropping your hand in defeat.
And ask the growing void inside—
 Is this what it means to be a writer?
 

The Writer’s Well

Boundless, yet narrow am I.
Like a well—
My depths and reach,
Seem to go down,
Down, down
 
Into the void.
They search and prod— 
For the impossible.
For the unthinkable.
 
Searching, yet never finding am I.
When the well seems empty and dry
 Time after, time again, there I seem to find—
What’s been there all along.
And for a moment all is well.
 
That is until,
I come across, another drought.
 Then I ponder and wonder,
If the well will ever be bountiful, again?
 
Patient, yet restless am I
When images come and go,
As they very well please.
Slow, yet fast do they often seem—
Like the passing days and nights.
 
Yet down, I continue to go.
Deeper and deeper
 I wade into
 Its ever-changing depths
 
Praying and hoping,
The well never dries.


Distorted Echoes All Around
 
The sun may be shining,
Yet tension clings in the air—
With dread as its breeze
It comes and goes as it please.
 
Deep breaths all around.
In, out,
In, out.
 
It’s coming,
 Yet nothing can be done.
No point is there in delays,
When dealing with the inevitable.
 
One more deep breath,
As I finally tell myself quite calmly—
It’s time to write.
 
No, says the echoing voice.
I sigh expecting such an answer.
Firmer this time, I repeat—
It’s time to write.
 
No idiot.
It’s time to overthink—
Every letter, every word, and every phrase.
Or have you already forgotten our plays?

I’ve had quite enough of this, I say.
Why do you haunt me this way?
Who do you think you are?
 
Why, do you ask? It’s my nature.
And who am I?
 The voice exclaims.
 
Why, I am simply
You.