Tessa, My Truth

atonement letter


Photo via Magpie Tales

Listening. Even if all seems dubious.
Tessa, I’m no nihilist and so I’ve got
to believe, to be held in thrall–
no matter how outrageous,
and somewhere there’s got to be
where your truth becomes mine.

In a world where we each makes up
our fictions, maybe seeking secret
accolades. Well, not another mass
hysteria, or the scream, or just
namby-pamby talk. We’re markedly this
or other. All’s a kind of madness.

There, I’ve written another letter.
And in my best Keira Knightley disguise,
acted the part of an apostle, stood by
the postbox in a quiet English town–
Manchester probably–sun drying up puddles,
saying iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou.

Prompt: Well, the prompt would be: what’s your truth? With a little help from Magpie Tales? With or without. You get to decide. You get to decide what’s your truth in your poem. You. Not anyone else but you. Your truth. Sorry this is all you get. Truth can be rather skimpy. Theme of the new Spring/Summer 2016 issue? Clue this!


All the true vows
are secret vows
the ones we speak out loud
are the ones we break.

There is only one life
you can call your own
and a thousand others
you can call by any name you want.

Hold to the truth you make
every day with your own body,
don’t turn your face away.

Hold to your own truth
at the center of the image
you were born with.

Those who do not understand
their destiny will never understand
the friends they have made
nor the work they have chosen

nor the one life that waits
beyond all the others.

By the lake in the wood
in the shadows
you can
whisper that truth
to the quiet reflection
you see in the water.

Whatever you hear from
the water, remember,

it wants to carry
the sound of its truth on your lips.

in this place
no one can hear you

and out of the silence
you can make a promise
it will kill you to break,

that way you’ll find
what is real and what is not.

I know what I am saying.
Time almost forsook me
and I looked again.

Seeing my reflection
I broke a promise
and spoke
for the first time
after all these years

in my own voice,

before it was too late
to turn my face again.

~ David Whyte ~

Tessa, I Am Singing Again

Of course, poetry is sonorous.
We gorged on it. Plangent with longing.
Being subtle and reticent, in this time-defying
labyrinth, effusive with esoteric knowledge,
imbued with language, inventive of a new

I wondered, what are we tweaking about?
Then I knew, once you’ve found your voice,
you won’t stop singing. As if you’ve found
a channel from the source, it’s not evasive,
and of course, you needed a muse,
keeping a lid on things. Of course,
Yeats had said it best.

What, you asked. It’s the eternal quest for
beauty, truth, love, justice, God–plain
discourses of the soul. What is soul but
consciousness, and how does it speak but
metaphorically? Why, even parodists would know!
And that I have no need greater than this,
a great desire, resonates with being.

Prompt: Hey guys, a new moon’s coming. I suppose Spring isn’t officially here yet but it’s definitely round the corner. I guess there’s no harm in starting my prompting for the new issue of Red Wolf Journal. What is the theme, you ask… and well, I’ll answer like this: when in doubt, write about writing! Alright, Clue: think of Spring/Summer. Yep it’s gonna be Spring/Summer 2016 issue running from March to September 2016. Mind you, I haven’t set a word down on the editorial so I’m not singing about it, but you know, just singing.

Oh right. What did Yeats say?
“The desire that is satisfied is not a great desire.”