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DANCING WITH WORDS


There are poets who like to dance with words
But dancing for an audience isn’t like moving
To the music on your own stirring
The notes of the soul

There are poets who organize festivals and such
Poets who live for applause
Poets who divide through elitism
Poets who attack the system but live off it

Fame kills
Billie Holiday’s ghost attests to this
Money pigeonholes Power corrupts
The spiritual truth
The scriptures tell us this

The true poet knows this
Stands tall above the
Dancing with word poets
Who are little more than instruments
Of a poem greater than themselves

Be like Li Po and sail your poems
On streams and puddles written on leaves
Be like the anonymous poets of Poland
During the height of martial law
Dropping their poems into the public square
For the people to read giving them
Hope courage and peace

Take risks speak out on behalf
Of the people who need something
To hold on too in desperate times

Telling them how cruel their tormentors are
Will not inspire them to go on living
And to overcome oppression

Love them become one with them
Stand fearless in their midst
This is the mark of the true poet

The poetry "Biz" boys are examples
Of what poetry is not

Walt Whitman was an example
Of what Poetry is standing tall
And fearless against the enemy
Which is never really man but the
Poison in his soul, pride envy and lust

How can those afflicted with the disease of egomania
Jealousy and desire for fame and fortune
Write about and from the heart?

Gone is the fire of Keats Shelley
Whitman and Ginsberg

One column of media praise is of less value
Than a single teardrop on a poem
From a waitress in a greasy spoon diner

These people know nothing of genius
How can cockroaches evaluate eagles?
The true poet’s topic is people
Not the poet

        
A. D. Winans