The Wild Word – A Poem

He was readingsmall book

one of my

poems, flipping casually

through the book.

“Do you ever write this out in linear form? Like a short story?”

I shook my

head at him.

“No. This wanted to come out as a poem.”

“Well then it certainly has a flow to it.”

“Yes, it does.”

He looked down

at the book

again, somewhat confused.

“I’ve never seen poetry with dialogue. Yours don’t even rhyme.”

“Nope. It’s how they want to come out.”

“You let the poem tell you how to write? You’re the writer. Aren’t you in control of your own words?”

I thought of

that statement. How

many times had

I sat down

in front of

my computer and

went to write

one thing, yet

something else came

out instead? How

many times have

I plotted a

story, only to

have the characters

do what they

wanted to do

anyways? I looked

back at him.

“Well, it’s kind of like this.”

I said softly.

“I want you to picture it with me.”


He said. I

picked up another

copy of my

book and opened

it. Words began

to slide out

of the book,

flowing from the

page like water.

“Inside of every writer, there is a body of water. If you can swim in it, you’ll see the most amazing things…”

Water began to

rise around us,

but the water

was black like

the ink from

the page. He

watched, his eyes

full of shock.

Soon, we were

floating in it,

held by its

warm comforting embrace.

“You’ll see beasts of every kind of some defying description.”

Something flew overhead

and we could

see its shadow

slide along the

water. Other animals

materialized when a

bank of land

rose out of

the black water.

There were some

beasts that I

could name, others

had no name

of any kind

as they existed

only within me.

depths and there

There were people

on the bank

of land and

we watched as

trees began to

grow to offer

them shade from

a glaring sun

made of words.

“You’ll meet the most amazing characters, all of them so real, even more so as you come to know them.”

We watched the

people wave to

us as if

welcoming us home.

“You’ll witness all the ups and downs of these people.”

One of the

people that was

on the bank

of land fell

as if hurt,

a few of the

others ran to

help. Blood began

to drip from

the person, it

looked like a

man, and into

the cool water,

staining it red.

Another person, a

woman this time,

went to the

one that had

fallen and pressed

her hands to

the person’s chest.

We watched light

flow from one

to the other

until light and

stars changed the

blood that ran

through the water

into something beautiful.

“My job is to help them know what their story is. My job as a writer is to tell the story the way it wants to be told. It’s really that simple and that complex.”

When I closed

the book, the

water began to

slide back into

the ground, the

people began to

fade, letters in

the water began

to slip back

into my book.

“Every writer has access to their own well of water. If you fight the story, the well will dry up. All you have to do is have faith in yourself.”

I pointed down

at the ground.

A few letters

from my book

remained there. The

letters spelled only

one simple word:


He looked at

me with new

respect in his

eyes and said:

“How much for a copy of one of your books?”

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