Words Against My Chest {Poem}

The words are there, smashing themselves against the walls of my chest.

The door too narrow to escape, enter.

Words inside and out.

I can see the writing on the wall.

An old chalkboard standing attentive to the minds in front.

Who are they, what do they want?

I can’t read them. And, I don’t know what to say.

Now I see.

An old tree stands its ground.

Roots crawled landscape hugging Earth.

I want to climb this tree, but its branches seem insurmountable.

What would I do if I reached the top?

If I fall, will the moss covered sorrows soften the blows?

Anxious to explain what I can’t feel;

I can’t even think about it, these words against my chest.

I imagine a song unwritten, there is no rhythm.

The harmony is too far from near, I can’t hear.

The pounding sensation seeks to synch, but my mind isn’t connected to the pulse.

Where to, what for?

I could write these days on pages for days.

The words still smashing against the walls of my chest.

Stirring anxiously for an exit that makes sense and a rhythm that begs to sing.

It isn’t the politics nor the religion that tease my soul; both take their toll.

If the words could flow seamlessly through the course of my veins, it seems life’s wounds would leave me real.

The more the words break against my chest, I leave it all to rest.

It’s calm they seek, happiness and peace.

But, it’s illusions and delusions.

If only my words could find the time to stop smashing themselves against the walls of my chest.

~Matthew Wilburn King

 

 

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Matthew King

I have over 15 years of experience leading projects, R&D, and strategy in the fields of environment and sustainable development. I’ve worked for government, academia, non-profits, and the private sector. I consult and advise leaders worldwide. I’ve been to every Continent on Earth with the exception of Antarctica, completed learning expeditions to over 30 countries, lived in five, and studied and conducted extensive research in four - completing my PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK). I’ve searched relentlessly for my place in the world through travel, philosophy, spirituality, and literature, but I found it inside. I spent the first five years of my life living in a girl’s home administered by my father in north Tulsa, Oklahoma, eventually moving to the west side of town; the setting of S.E. Hinton’s book, “The Outsiders.” Truth is, I’ve always been as much an Outsider, as a pragmatist. I've met death as cancer ravaged my body, and I’m still alive. I’ve traveled the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. I’ve dived the largest barrier reef systems and I’ve spent time on many seas: Celtic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Aegean, Adriatic, Sargasso, North, Andaman, Bering, and the Coral Sea. I’ve hiked major mountain ranges: the Rockies, the Alps, Andes, Great Dividing Range, Appalachian and the Cascades. I speak English, Spanish, and some French. I act on stage, paint, photograph, draw, and I’ve produced and directed film. I’ve volunteered with dozens of organizations, committing thousands of hours for the benefit of people and the planet. I practice yoga and meditation. I’ve published academic and popular literature, given talks around the world. The burning question I’m trying to answer: “How can humanity overcome its evolutionary limitations as a species to address long-term global challenges?" My biggest journey, thus far, has been my current one, from head to heart, and I’m still on that journey.