“[Writing is] like standing on the edge of a cliff. This is especially true of the first draft. Every day you’re making up the earth you’re going to stand on.” ~ Peter Carey


Here is the first of the four finalists. I am reprinting them in the same order in which A Poet Reflects post them. Unfortunately, I was unable to figure out how to copy the mp3’s of each poet reading his/her work. Click on the link above to go to the original posting and to hear the mp3.

Contours of the Heart

I prefer the late and lonely hours of the night
to the bustling hours of the day,
for in the quiet dreaming hours,
the hushed thoughts of the heart surface.

I prefer the quiet clarity of sipping on simmering tea
to the bold clamor of coffee upon the tastebuds.

I prefer small rooms to grand palaces,
simple celebrations of everyday wonder
to extravagant fanfare.

I prefer a blue sky of clouds to a night sky of stars,
though both sing to me of freedom and wonder.

I prefer solitude, even the ache of loneliness,
to following the aimless crowd.
I prefer to be true, I prefer to be different.

I prefer the sorrow of wisdom and the pain of truth
to the foolish bliss of ignorance and illusion.

I prefer to dwell in possibility.
I prefer the lovely intangibles,
and the invisible treasures of the heart and mind.

I prefer words to photos, because rarely can a photo
capture the contours of the heart, mind, and soul.

I prefer the quiet intimacy of books
to the vortex screen of television.

I prefer listening and observing to speaking,
and when I “speak,” I prefer to write.

I prefer the involved and intimate whisper of pen upon paper
(even the messy scribbles and crossing-outs and rewrites)
to the more disinterested tapping of typing on a keyboard.

I prefer to let my fingers stumble along in slow dance
upon piano keys, because some secrets of the soul
can only be unlocked in music.

I prefer beautiful words that sing,
thoughts that breathe.
I prefer to write my tears on paper
or to sing them in songs.

I prefer walking as my mode of transportation,
to feel the ground beneath my feet,
the quiet reverberations that resonate
with each step I take.

I prefer to take the road less travelled,
to let my hopes and dreams unravel
in ribbons of words and wind,
ever tangling and untangling.

Though I love the new morning that comes with the sunrise,
I prefer sunsets, for as light shines brighter in darkness,
so love and life are set ablaze with deeper meaning
in the face of approaching death.

Though there are not enough hours in a day,
and time is rarely on my side,
I still prefer to take my time,
to live at a slower pace,
to savour the moments, to live deeply.

I prefer creation and renewal to destruction.
I prefer faith, hope, love, and life
to apathy, cynicism, and indifference,

Because life is a gift,
though weighed down by gravity,
and my life is but a breath,
sustained by God’s grace and mercy.

And that is why I prefer poetry.

Poem written and read by www.puddlenotes.tumblr.com