Way of William Wordsworth

Performed at Staving Arts

The year was 2006
And I was in lower sixth
I was in an English class on poetry
When IT
suddenly dawned upon me

My teacher was called Mr Baird
And he was reciting words of William Wordsworth
Which signalled a loving and electrifying birth
For my love of nature through words
And verbs and nouns and adjectives
For birds looking down at cabbages

And as I hear how birds stick their necks
and heads into the veg sneakily
I was reminded how the bourgeois
was stealing easily
from those who really
needed the TLC

Suddenly,
I shake myself back into place
and try to concentrate on Mr Baird’s face
Instead of the poetic stanzas and verse
as they made my concentration worse
The poetry was just
too thought-provoking
too powerful
too beautiful.

The natural beauty in words captured my mind
So I needed to unwind
with words
so I scribe

But I quickly found a massive block
Not writer’s but love
which needed to be unlocked

So whilst keeping a focused eye on Mr Baird
I begin to explore this block and what I feared

So I scribble some stuff in rough…
and it reads:

“Living in a sea of melancholy
Is what She wants from me
She can be any She
as all Shes belong to the one
Is it that relationship I run from

Or is it the person?
Is it the fear of opening up that seals me up?
How can I man in his prime
Not mind,
not being attracted to Your beauty –
is it my naivety?
to concentrate only on longevity

But how can an inexperienced monkey like me
Split the branches like the dead sea and Moses
to see clearly, in a field of thorns and roses

The cuts shall give me feeling
The scent will give me meaning

I’m told to fit everyone into your two boxes
my friendships
and the lady of my life

There’s no limit to my love like James Blake
my love transcends this it shakes
the world

but the love I have is enough to shatter every glass window
and enough to whisper in the ear of every fallen widow:
‘You are worthy of love’ “

*stop pen motion*

the whisper bounces near
I hear it reverbing in my ear

The words creep into my skin
I see the wick within
brighten,
as soft light begins

to take over every pore
as I pour my soul out
I whisper then shout:

‘I am not perfect…I am not perfect.’
‘I AM NOT PERFECT!’

My trail of thought is shaken by the voice’s boom
and unfortunately, I’m still in the classroom

I see the class staring
Was I really that daring

To shout and interrupt
What feels like hundreds of eyes aligned
sharply towards my
hot blushing face

Mr Baird looks over from the board to ask,
‘Why are you shouting, tell me fast?’

I explain as best I could:

“sir…uhh…The beautiful words of nature
enabled me
to increase
the love for me
and others”

Mr Baird looks surprised
with his eyes open wide
he replies with a singular mEntion
“young man, I’ll see you in detention’

Later, as the rest of the class ran around free
I stay behind reflecting on my poetry

As I eventually begin to leave the detention hall
and I look out the window to see the rain fall

Quickly realising I have no brolly
I decide to pause for a moment in the lobby

Suddenly don’t want the rain to stop
Last words to myself were ”Why not’
So I ran outside into the rain drops
And out the cage I came
to free myself into the rain

With a beaming smile
I ran wild for a while

I become fearless.
Then become shoeless
to really feel the earth
and relieve me of past hurt

My clothes began to get soaked and dense
Looking at the sky, I feel the rain cleanse
my apprehensions
my appearance
my awkwardness
all washed away

Get home, drying my socks
thinking ‘how did I break those locks’

Without the detention
I would have had no reflection
And without reflection
It’s just theory no action

I believe this was the lesson Mr Baird wanted to really give.

So thank you, Mr Baird, for your poetry
allowing me
to explore nature closely
sharing my vulnerability
through poetry

Because:

I am not perfect.
But I am still worthy of love.
And so are you.
Yep.
You.

*points to audience*

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