The walls are like language. They are like fine tracery with the light behind them, like lace, and, in a sense, they are no different from these words – each one lifted slowly into place and balanced on this page. ~ from Coventry, by Helen Humphreys
Balancing the words. I loved this image from Coventry. It’s what writers and poets do so well, isn’t it? take words and set them perfectly on the page, like an acrobat placing her feet oh so carefully on the tightrope, making minute adjustments which those in the audience never see. And while the walk seems effortless on the surface, it really entails great labor and intense focus.
Some years ago I was dabbling a bit with writing poetry, taking baby steps into wordplay, and this same image came to mind. So, on the final day of National Poetry Month, and in honor of all the wise and wonderful word acrobats (like Beth, Lillian, and Sandi) whom I’ve come to know, here is my little poem about balancing the words…
Blue line on white paper,
a faint demarcation
to order my thoughts.
I set a black word upon the line
so as not to frighten it.
Slightly breathless, I lift my pen
allowing the word to balance there
It totters slightly ~
hopefully, it will right itself,
settle into place with confidence and authority.
Just a black word on a blue line ~
a small offering
to a world outside my own.
A small piece of my soul
placed tenderly upon the line
so your eye may caress it.
Carefully now ~
it’s a delicate balance that word has achieved.
Go easy in your perusal,
Be kind in your assessment
~for it carries my heart.