Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Poets’ Corner: William Ottens

October 18, 2006

William Ottens, a Tonganoxie High School graduate, is a senior at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. His majors are English writing, English literature, and mathematics.

A Common Misconception
I once heard the rhythm that exists in all as at first,
the melody of creation flowing underneath and in between life and death andhat whichs to come.
I saw life in detail like a carefully crafted painting,
each flower, child, mother, ocean, sunset
and the way in which they were, are and will be one.

There was a time when I knew where all the words
were wrapped neatly inside the heart most common
and I would carefully unsheathe them and place them
among that which I intuitively sensed they fit best.
I understood the complicated algorithms of the universe with a childlike pretentious assertiveness marked
by my incessant willingness to believe any
and everything that was handed to me on a platter.

And as there comes a time when all of creation
begins it's perpetual progression toward quietus,
the whole of my body has become plagued with age,
that slow infection that ultimately incapacitates,
and I am no longer able to hear life's melody.
The seed of youth no longer nourishes my hands,
words no longer fill the heart I thought was common,
and I am unable to comprehend much at all.

But how I do not realize that this progression
which I have so readily defined as disease
is nothing more than the evolution of the soul,
and as a human being I have a natural aversion to change
which disallows me to recognize that growing older
is a part of the omnipresent rhythm of all as at first.

My Hands
I look at my hands and I know
they do not belong to a laborer.
They are not strong and calloused,
they do not construct hospitals
or erect churches
or pour the foundations of homes
and they do not cry for rest
after a day of long work.

I look at my hands and I know
they do not belong to a fighter.
They are not bruised and broken,
they do not strike out when provoked
or strike back when wronged
or start conflicts of their own
and they do not bleed
from open wounds.

I look at my hands and I know
they do not belong to a lover.
They don't write lengthy letters of lustful desires,
they don't know how to dance lightly on smooth skin
or sail swiftly through silky strands of soft hair
or hold another's own,
and they do not know
who you are.

I look at my hands and I fear
they do not belong to me.

i love...
i dreamt that i touched you
despite the incredible distance that lies between us
and i felt the core of my chest ache
as my heartstrings stretched across time and space
only to snap me back into reality,
leaving me in pain,
a bruise
where your skin
never touched my own

i used to look into your eyes
i used to see mountains and seas and flowers and meadows
and endless amounts of beauty
i used to ponder at how
such a large mystery could be captured so simply

i used to believe i could...
i used to believe i wanted to harness that energy
put it in tiny bottles labled "love"
and drink them up whenever i needed to live again
but nature with its funny way of revelation
proved me differently

i once thought letting go was hard
i once thought forever was a promise
but you with your funny way of letting me know
proved me differently

i never knew who you really were
i will never know you
as much as i once wanted to
i only held onto an image, and idol
of what i wanted you to be
and i wonder now...

what is hidden behind that masque
those dark eyes
those red lips
that glowing skin

i wonder...

do you know that goodbye is a promise
do you know that my heart bleeds too
do you know that I love...

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