Born to Jump
Poetry Month, day 22
Born to Jump
You've done a bit of it in your life, but never quite
got over that moment of panic before the thrill –
to feel that sudden shock, the jolt, the drop.
Jump and soar doesn't immediately happen; you're
off the ground but not flying. Look Ma, no wings.
The realisation hits and you scrabble for anything –
cliff grasses, broken twigs, fallen feathers,
all cobbled together somehow, mid-air, and stitched.
The wind is whistling past rapidly, loud and screechy.
Time is not on your side. But you do improve with practice,
and hopefully, even as a beginner you stay aloft, you
build a serviceable floating device –
your parachute, perhaps – until you learn to grow
wings, real live ones ... anyway it's not easy but
on the whole, it's exciting, it gets addictive:
the sudden shock, as I said, the scrabble, the thrill....
Way too soon really, you're flying with ease, up and up and
down to the ground again to touch and bounce, and leap, and start all over.
Image: freely available without attribution, under CCo license.
For Poets of April at "imaginary garden with real toads" we are invited to use one of several quotations for inspiration. I chose one often wrongly attributed to Annie Dillard, who is on record as denying she ever wrote or said it. It has been attributed to others too, notably Kurt Vonnegut, but belongs to Ray Bradbury, who said, in full:
“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: ‘It’s gonna go wrong.’ Or ‘She’s going to hurt me.’ Or ‘I had a couple of bad love affairs so therefore …'
“Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
I have used that last sentence as a first-word acrostic. (And the title refers to the fact that I really see this as a metaphor for making poetry.)