I have a suggestion

Do not fear being unimportant.
Instead, broach the crevice, the crack,
those unimportant corners
lacking life and
fill them with
outrageous claims, with
exotic names, and
stories that make
rocks sing and shadows sing
chorales and such.

Yes, we may fade into
obscurity after the fashion of
matches burned to end.
But know this: as we are spent
and darkness engulfs us, a
finger will drop us,
with singed flesh
remembering fire – and
we will be seen in a
hand’s retreat, a
face’s grimace as
indifference dies the
ignoble death it is.

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8 thoughts on “I have a suggestion

  1. shoreacres says:

    The poem as a whole is a gem. I especially enjoyed the gently dismissive tone of the phrase, “chorales and such.” It felt as though it put high culture and pretension — the “important” art of life — into a more realistic context.

    And isn’t it true that we fear being unimportant: unknown, unacknowledged, unhonored? Perhaps those fears underlie our social media obsessions to a degree we’d prefer not to acknowledge.

    But that match analogy? Dare I say it’s really striking? It’s perfect, and a good reminder that somewhere, sometime, our importance will light up the world, if only for a moment.

    • agjorgenson says:

      Thanks for your reading of the chorales phrase. Frankly, it just rolled off my pen and I didn’t give it much thought! I like your reading though. And thanks for the “somewhere, sometime” line! An earlier version of the poem had exactly that in, but it needed to come out for the poem’s sake, so I am glad to see it in the comments. As for the social media obsession – I suspect you are correct. I imagine much has been written about this, but I think that what is really needed is for each of us to ask ourselves, from time to time, the simple question: why am I posting/tweeting/etc this?

  2. Thank you for this. It touched me in the ways words do when they leave us with no other words to say having wormed their way into the soul, quenching a thirst.

  3. a good poem for a birthday, Allen. See you soon.

  4. jannatwrites says:

    I read this poem a couple times – it was awesome. It made me think of my kids. Each are in a stage (I hope it’s a stage) where they are quite enamored by being famous. I’m hoping with age they realize that while we might be insignificant on a global scale, we are significant to God, and in the lives of those we interact with.

    • agjorgenson says:

      “We are significant to God.” If you can pass that on to your children you will have given them a profound gift! I’m glad the poem spoke to you. That is a poet’s true reward!

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