Saturday, April 12, 2014

If You Have No Wings

As April is National Poetry Month...

2014 has not been an easy year so far and, as often happens in such situations, this poem comes to mind. I wrote it in 1987 when I was transitioning (slowly) through college and into full, independent adulthood. At that time, I didn't have a plan. My friends had all gone away to college, I hadn't admitted to myself I was gay, I didn't know what I wanted to do career-wise, and - most difficult - I didn't have a passion to drive my life. I felt myself idling when I had a lot of big decisions to make. It was all too big and overwhelming to think about.

I started writing 'If You Have No Wings' to vent. Only during the writing process, did the poem change from a venting session into a solution (note how it changes between first person and me telling myself what to do - not a conscious thing!). Poetry and art have often served me in this manner. I can feel my way through something that I can't assess in a linear or logical manner.

I've re-read this poem at several tough times during life. And, just like when I wrote it, it doesn't give me any answers. It reminds me we don't need answers to live. Taking a small step causes the next step to suggest itself. Before long, there's a path. That can be all the answer we need and, sometimes, all the answer there is.

If You Have No Wings

So the angel said,
"Fly to me."

I have no wings.
I have no things
that shall let me do
that which I cannot.

But all our wisdom
is limited by poor vision,
and the powers we possess
stunted by indecision.

So if you have no wings -
then walk!
If you have not the things -
then do without!

Someday I will be
but for now,
I must do without.

- Peter Cholewinski

No comments: