The Literal Journey

              By Jeff Russell

A voice whispered in my ear, “Conceive, compose, create.”
Another voice, the other ear, “You haven’t what it takes.
No inner spring of wisdom, no diamond in the rough.”
“You have a dream,” the first voice said. “For now, that is enough.”

Pen to paper, plot the course: The time, the crew, the realm.
Readers track another’s star; writers take the helm.
Lands that I would never find, heroes never met,
If not for quest of fertile mind that lingers in me yet.

Turned away from every port, barred at every gate.
“Your novel doesn’t suit our needs. Your story doesn’t rate.”
I weigh anchor, set the sails, refuse to be undone.
An author seeks adventure and the journey’s just begun.

Broken families, broken souls, spirits on the mend.
Figments of imagination, each a cherished friend.
Mountains, valleys, deserts, seas … all places I’ve been,
While sitting at my writing desk, traveling by pen.

Pride and passion point the way, a compass for the heart.
My meager contribution to the literary arts.
Fame and fortune ne’er in sight, shadows at their best.
Writing is its own reward, the gift of thought expressed.

Many years have come and gone, many stories told.
The love of lore still young at heart, the rest of me grown old.
Trapped within a fragile hull, drifting out to sea.
It matters not. The fact remains, the pen will set me free.


Once Around the Writer’s Block

              By Jeff Russell

One day, in a moment sublime
I started devoting my time
To writing a poem about family and home
But I couldn’t come up with a rhyme.

My lines were a little too dense
My verse a little too tense
I dabbled in wit and some of it fit
But none of it made any sense.

I added and padded whatever it took
To give my creation the grandiose look
Of elegant prose but all that arose
Were measures of rambling gobbledygook.

Week after week I continued the quest.
A daunting challenge! Who would have guessed?
But the going got tough and enough was enough.
I reluctantly gave it a rest.

Inhibited by inspirational drought
Poetic potential in serious doubt
I swallowed my pride, looked deep inside
And finally figured it out.

If crafting verse is an art
Then ideas must flow from the heart
Born of talent and fashion and patience and passion
And clearly I wasn’t that smart.

So now I’m allowing each day
To evolve in a lyrical way.
And my urge to create will just have to wait.
But … who needs a silly rhyme anyway?