Receiving Without Expectation

 Receiving Without Expectation
 The now dried and flattened pulp of wood rests 
 bare on the table. She lays open, prone like an invitation, 
 a sky to be painted with clouds. Oh, what 
 will they be? Whispers of white or dark weightiness? 
 A word, a phrase, an idea, an inspiration. She feels 
 the ink flowing like a shower rinsing over her body, 
 a slow tickling roll, gliding gently, gracefully until 
 there is no more room for touching. 
 She hears the s-sounds like singing Sufi spirit 
 sober sweet stretching sky, and the c-sounds 
 like calligraphy commingling colors and confusion. 
 The writer opens her heart and the insights arrive through 
 the allowing, because she is letting it come, like a wave 
 or a storm, maybe dewdrops or a floating powder puff. 
 Whatever is needed is invited to speak its truth. 
 She does not have the answers. She simply 
 holds what the pen voices as he wanders 
 where he wants without willpower.  

Click HERE for an audio recording of the poem.

I wrote this poem in response to a prompt in my workbook, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts by Christopher Salerno and Kelsea Habecker, from the chapter on imitation that suggested finding a favorite poem and writing a sequel to it. This poem was written as a companion piece to Rumi’s Wonder without Willpower.

 Wonder without willpower 
 By Rumi, in Rumi: The Book of Love with translations and commentary by Coleman Barks)
 Love’s way becomes a pen sometimes
 writing g-sounds like gold or r-sounds
 like tomorrow in different calligraphy 
 styles sliding by, darkening the paper.
 Now it’s held upside down, now beside
 the head, now down and on to something
 else, figuring. One sentence saves
 an illustrious man from disaster, but
 fame does not matter to the spirit tongue
 of a pen. Hippocrates knows how the cure
 must go. His pen does not. This one 
 I am calling pen, or sometimes flag, 
 has no mind. You, the pen, are most sanely
 insane. You cannot be spoken of rationally. 
 Opposites are drawn into your presence but
 not to be resolved. You are not whole
 or ever complete. You are the wonder
 Without willpower going where you want.  

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