All That Remain

For most of my days music sustained me.

It comforted me, it punished me.

It inspired me and tortured me.

A constant struggle to master the notes 

And bring them to impossible perfection

It was something to anchor my wayward soul 

And channel a driving urge to create.

Physical demands and limitations

Imposed a ceiling of crushing disappointment

On what was called ‘my music.’

A lack of talent, a dearth of will

And minimum of practice put paid to that. 

After a long and often unsuccessful run

Like all life’s pleasures, it could not last. 

I could not draw, no aptitude for art.

My figures, no more than matchstick men.

My still-life was bereft of life.

My portraits were mere caricatures.

My impressionisms left no impression.

My nuvo-art was nuvo-nothing.

Art was not my cup of tea.

I could not dance, no aptitude for stage.

When called upon to speak

All the glorious phrases I prepared had vanished.

I stammered and tripped over tongue and teeth.

All audiences’ eyes fixed upon me

Brought tremors of fear I could not overcome.

I crept from the stage, hot shame and embarrassment

Reddening my face, tears clouding my eyes.

That too soon slipped into a past best forgotten.

My features weak and bland, physique both soft and slight

No letters on my jacket, no cheers when exiting the field.

My teeth stood out, my hair stood up,

No suitable catch for any of the girls I sought to woo.

My teenage years were lonely in extreme.

Somewhere in my journey, I discovered Words.

Marvellous things these Words.

Take them apart. Put them together.

Rearrange them. Juxtapose them.

Shake them up and discover new and curious ways

To play their meaning, paint their structure

Act out their form, project me to the world.

In the solitude and safety of my work,

When all of my shortcomings are exposed

Words are all that remain. 

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