27 June 2011

Twenty Thousand Lines

- so time to celebrate

Written late June 2011 - (168 lines)


TWENTY THOUSAND LINES! Believe me, it is true
Written not so much for myself as for YOU!
So now let writer and reader celebrate
How we arrived at this happy state:

The first two poems, which together come
To less than six hundred lines, throw some
Light upon the changes taking place:
First Uni-Verses about love and space
Fiftyfour lines only but, in my view, cleverly
Arranged as two poems you can read separately
But just as in real life and the meeting of two hearts
The whole is much greater than the sum of all the parts

And then the real magic started to flow
How or why I shall probably never know
But I shall always be grateful that it did
And may it never stop - heaven forbid!

The AXIS of EVIL started taking shape
In my mind and I simply could not escape
But had to write it - "Why me?" I would ask
Not feeling sure that I was up to the task
Yet it was written, in two halves more or less
In January and November! - and I thought: "YES!
I did it, World, and that will have to do
For now I have said all I want to say to you!"
Five hundred and fourteen lines to be exact -
Little did I know that was the start of the pact!

I wrote those two poems in two thousand and five
And the following year was not exactly a hive
Of hyper activity, for not one single line
Was written - though I did not consciously resign
I probably believed that I had said everything
In The AXIS of EVIL, so resisted every string
Of political thoughts if they threatened to merge
Into a jingle or slogan on the verge
Of becoming maybe another epic to surmount
So ZERO was that year's audited line count!

But two thousand and seven started with some new
Ideas for other poems - and it was then I knew
That this was the real me and I accepted willingly
Without hesitation and in truth eagerly

From then on the train of thought has been on track
It is full steam ahead and no turning back
Nor any reversal of outlook or attitude
But writing is dependent upon the right mood

And as a look at the Index will make clear
So far two or three, maybe four times a year
An average of around a thousand lines emerge
When the irresistible creative urge
Arrives and holds me in its wonderful grip
Believe me, I thoroughly enjoy every trip
To that magic place - but nobody should think
That it is easy, for apart from food and drink
Everything else gets neglected for as long
It is possible to hammer out yet another song
With little perception of place and time
The quest is to perfect another line and rhyme
And it is quite common to work throughout the night
Then suddenly realise that outside now is bright
Yes, it is exhausting, yet invigorating, too
And great the satisfaction when you manage to do
What you wanted to accomplish, and to set
Your own strict standards and make sure that they are met -
Whenever I am in that fortunate state
The rest of the world must simply WAIT

At the end of every one of those magic spells
Of creative fulfilment, an emptiness swells
To fill me with a sadness which thankfully soon fades
And then normal life reappears and invades

Taking nothing for granted as I wait impatiently
For the next blessed period of creativity
There is absolutely nothing that I can do
To force it, and when the phase is overdue
Believe me, there is more than a mild concern
For no-one guarantees it will EVER return...

The times in between are of course in no way
Wasted or boring but in truth I have to say
Though sometimes it does seem a hopeless fight
I only feel really useful when I write

And writing is not given as a gift to every man
So I am very grateful whenever I still can

We all should experiment to find out what
Special talents we may have (or maybe not!)
So find out through trial and error and test
What it really is that you do best

Now I was always good with the written word
And strangely since a small boy instinctively preferred
The English language to that called my own
A natural love that over time has grown
So complete that in every verbal way
My brain is completely re-programmed today
And I did it all myself, first laboriously
But always purposefully and seriously
As if deep inside I already knew
That English would become my way to speak to YOU

And is it getting easier with experience?
"Practice makes perfect" - the saying does make sense
For as with any other craft or trade
You find out how the whole process is made
And what was new and strange becomes the norm
Just like the blacksmith keeps the furnace warm
And strikes the iron while still malleable and hot
A Wordsmith learns what works and what does not

Also, in my younger days I did write songs
And performed them too, and that belongs
In the same department as poetry
Both are about rhythm and symmetry

Can my creativity in any way be traced
To the fact that I officially embraced
Islam in late two thousand and six?
Did that maybe in some subtle way fix
A deeper connection which from then on
Enables me to get my writing done?

But My Journey to Islam started twenty years ago
So why now? Allahu alam [God knows] - for I do not know!

Twenty Thousand Lines - excuse me: HOW?
I do not really understand it even now
Maybe in the past it would have gone to my head
But since embracing Islam I have instead
Of a self-centered possibly conceited attitude
A clear and sharp focus for my heartfelt gratitude
And my Brothers and Sisters all know what I mean:
Al-hamdu-Lillah! Rabbi-al-Alameen!
[The praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds]

Had anyone suggested five years ago
That my five hundred lines of poetry would grow
To a massive twenty thousand in four years and a half
My reaction would have been to shake my head and laugh...
For surely to do that would need a Word Superstar
Yet Twenty Thousand Lines - there they are!
But only because someone did persist
Unique combinations of words now exist
For you to love or hate or maybe just ignore -
Whatever your reaction: expect many more!

Twenty Thousand Lines - yes I know
It is just a number but it does go to show
That the old man in The Wordsmithy still works hard
Doing the bidding of The Digital Bard
For time has proven their common theme
And you should never change a winning team
So more hot topics where sparks will fly
Will be given the treatment the two always apply
Before results appear in the usual place
So do come to visit us in cyberspace

Yet quality not quantity is what matters more
I leave it to my readers to work out that score
For officially I have no opinion about that
Nor any time for such unimportant chat

But please take the time to read every line
The faults and blemishes are of course all mine
But that should not detract from what I try to say
And if somehow I could find a better way
Then I would not for one moment hesitate
But still I do the best that I can at any rate
To tell it like it is according to my view
Of the world - and to share it with YOU

Twenty Thousand Lines - my poems represent
Collectively a very serious investment
Of my precious time here on planet Earth
So it is my hope that you will find them worth
Reading at least once and maybe more than twice
Finally here is some fatherly advice
To those who have not read any of them yet
Assuming you have access to the Internet
There is really no excuse not to do so, and may
I suggest that you all read one poem every day

In which case I am a few months ahead
Speaking my mind about something someone said
Or I myself experienced, or thought or read or heard
And then surrendered to The Power of the WORD


Copyright © 2011 - IBRAHEEM (O.E.H.Johansen) - All Rights Reserved

No comments:

*Should you wish to copy or print anything on this weblog please first read the ==>> COPYRIGHT NOTICE*
--- a Last Viking weblog - Copyright © 2006-2021 - www.thelastviking.net - All Rights Reserved ---