(life as a game of snakes and ladders)
As you roll the dice, you wonder if you can
train a snake to uncoil slowly, so you descend
in stages, arriving gently at the bottom. The
snake is an excuse to cancel the light. To return
to the womb. To become a root, seeking
water, having never seen a leaf, a flower in full
bloom. You feel the ladder, made of mist and
hope, always two rungs short of home. But a
goal is a function of desire and luck as much as
laboured ascent. The ladder serves the myth
that elevation is a need. Because stars and gods
live in the sky. Because the higher you go, the
further it still is. You move seven squares forward,
dodging a venomous fang, not quite at the
lowest step. It has been raining for days. If
there was a sky, it has collapsed into the ground.
You wonder how things would work, upside-down.
You turn the board around, count down from the end.
Finding a process that works, that cuts through the numb silence and translates stirrings to words is half the battle. I found my way around writer’s block by doodling my thoughts and putting them aside, letting the words come when they were ready. It hardly matters if you can’t draw to save your life. It also doesn’t matter if the words aren’t exactly what the image intended to be. The poem is the journey! Am learning to enjoy it!