Song of myself

(With apologies to Walt Whitman …)

I sing myself to create myself in the world
Singing the song that Gaia danced to when she emerged from Chaos
Emerging from Chaos with Love, Hell and Darkness, I emerge too
I emerge to hang from the world-tree like a newly-ripened fruit

I sing my mortal frame
My middle-aged pot-bellied spindly-shanked grey-headed pieball-bearded brown-eyed shell
Like the shell of long-lived ocean-dwelling mollusc
Pitted and warped by time and tide

I sing my shivering monkey mind
The quivering mass of neurosis, fear, anticipation, love, hate, sentimentality, bravery and cowardice
I sing my compassion and my selfishness
I sing and celebrate my innate human foolishness

I arise from the ashes of past poetry, past stories and songs
They have burned away in a great blaze of love
An inferno of passion and self-hatred and self-regard
They are burned utterly, and from them I arise renewed

I step out and raise my voice to my fellow poets and to my fellow non-poets
(If such a thing exists for we are all poets of our own life-poems)
To bloggers and tweeters and facebookers and tumblrers and flickrers
To carpenters and financiers and politicians and window cleaners

Like the gallous blackbird and mighty jenny wren I sing without fear or favour
I sing whether or not I am heard or liked
I sing because I must
I sing because a song is born and must go into the world

So listen, rapt, or don’t listen, applaud or curse,
I will be here regardless, singing the song of myself
And listening to the songs of others, all singing themselves too
So that the great harmony of us all will reach the astonished ear of the Universe


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