Tag Archives: self-revelation

To The Island

The Prompt: We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?

To the Island

If I sent you to an island, it would be for your own good.
It wouldn’t be unwillingly, with chains and ropes and hood.
I’d lure you off to be with me, surrounded by the sea.
You wouldn’t have to talk or walk or be in love with me.

The objects that I’d give you are a camera, notepad, pen
and a computer with no wifi to connect to where you’ve been.
You’d live in the present with the details of your life,
examining where you have been without the daily strife.

With no Internet distraction, no ringing of the phone,
sometimes you find a part of you that you have never known.
There’s something that is lacking in what’s crowded in one’s brain.
It’s hard to find ourselves when we must live the whole world’s pain.

In the morning, you would walk the beach, move inward with the tide,
examining what treasures the waves conceal inside.
A stone shaped like a check mark or a continent or heart–
it’s hard to suspend looking, once you’ve made a start.

You may take photos of them or collect them in your pocket—
something to make art from, or a picture for your locket.
Another way to get inside is what you write about them.
If you have secrets, it’s inevitable that you’ll out them.

The sea’s part of something larger and each treasure is a clue
connecting the whole universe to something within you.
This is why each object plucked up from the sand
is part of you that you’ve reclaimed—there within your hand.

What you see in what you find is what you have inside.
Perhaps it’s something you don’t know or that you know and hide.
The very fact that it is here revealed for you to see
may mean that you are ready to finally set it free.

The sea with all its treasures and its recurring tide
is also found within you—safely tucked inside.
So look into a mirror—a metaphor, more or less;
if you are wondering if you’ve changed, you won’t have to guess.

You’ll look for things within yourself as closely as the sea
and find out more of who you are and who you want to be.
You’ll see the changes on your face that say you’ve become wise.
Deep worry lines around your mouth and laugh lines by your eyes.

And once that you have found yourself, you’ll find yourself again;
for you are always changing—refining what you’ve been.
Tucked off on an island like a wallflower on a shelf,
perhaps you’ll find the whole wide world there within yourself.

And when you see the world within, you’ll want to live in it,
for it’s a world that you have power to change as you see fit.

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Just a few of the more than 30 heart-shaped rocks I’ve found. I’ve photographed many more than that.

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What do you see in these beach finds?

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This check mark shaped stone was one of my favorites today. I also found one in the shape of Africa, which is alluded to in the poem, but didn’t take a photo.



Notoriety

Notoriety

Remember Morrie Amsterdam, and Dick Van Dyke and Sally?
So clever and so erudite, and humorous and pally?
They had such fun as writers for a fictional TV show
(I can’t recall the name of it, but one of you will know.)

If that is what inspired the thought, I guess I’ll never know,
but I’ve always wished that I could be staff-writer for a show.
Such fun it would be, trading thoughts and quips and puns and jokes
and putting them into a show for entertaining folks.

Week after week to do this, would be a joy, I thought—
turning out those funny shows with plots so finely wrought.
But I had not a clue of how such jobs as this were got.
The route to such careers was something I was never taught.

I college I took every class in writing I could find.
I loved this pressure to use words to show what’s on my mind.
Sometimes the words came easy and sometimes they came hard.
I had a few successes, although no one called me bard.

In those days before the Internet, I don’t know how I came
to hear about these contests where we were asked to name
new products such as cereal and milk and a new shoe
and several other things as well, I just recall a few.

All-in-all, I think I entered six or more for fun.
Months later came the envelopes that said that I had won
first prize to name two products—and earned $25 for each.
Never had I expected such heights of fame to reach!

I took my best friends out to dine to celebrate my win
and we drank Golden Cadillacs (and probably sloe gin)
and wined and dined until we’d spent the sum of all the cash
I won by writing ad copy—a celebratory bash.

I know if I dug deep enough that surely I could find
the names of all those products in the corners of my mind.
“Vita-Man the Space Age Cowboy,” was one winning entry’s name.
His purpose to sell milk, although he never reached much fame.

This was the late sixties with skirts short or to the floor
and I recall one shoe line that I wrote a ditty for:
Mini-mums and Maxi-mums were names I thought were nice.
“A maximum of comfort for a minimum in price.”

This one was not a winner, but the reason I can quote it
is because they used it anyway–exactly as I wrote it.
The other one I won was for a cereal you’d know well;
I know you won’t believe me, so I’m not going to tell.

It became so famous that it’s still there on the shelf,
though I’m the only one who knows I named it all myself.
Still, this is where my fame resides—in stores from shore-to-shore
and that is how my name came to be writ in grocery lore!

So now my deepest secret’s out. The world will know my plight—
that advertising or TV is what I wished to write.
You’d think that watching “Mad Men” would cure me, wouldn’t you?
and it might, but for the glory of that cereal and that shoe!!!!

The Prompt: Back of the Queue—Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to starting (an activity, a hobby, or anything else, really)? Tell us about it — and tell us about what’s keeping you from doing it.