Two weeks in aka Day 14 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2020 and the challenge prompt today is:
“to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/people that you strive to be like, or even poems, poets, and people that you strive not to be like. There are as many ways to go with this prompt as there are ways to be inspired.”
After having spent a lot of my life dreaming and working on being a musician who played with every intention of being taken seriously and playing a broad range of genres, somehow or another after falling ill in 2012, I set out to learn how to not just write lyrics but poetry. Having just spent considerable time reading through a series of children’s books for two angels entrusted to me and my ex-wife as stewards in their lives, I am not ashamed to admit that while I love the classic poets as well, there were so many lessons that I learned from Dr. Seuss. So here’s a tribute of sorts.
Dr. Seuss With No Excuse by Michael Doyle As child among my favorite toys Were the ukulele and simple drum That brought me near endless joy Though I am sure it made the mind numb Moving to classical guitar and keys I found much to at least me would please Always caught up in the musical vibration The slightest things were my inspiration Up through the many wished on band years Writing lyrics raising hell and hiding tears Just as suddenly childhood was gone at 18 I would become a military man for all that means Decades of certainty that I would go to hell For that soul of mine that I did willingly sell I learned to love again looking into the eyes Of two little girls who had made me more wise Two little bears loved from the moon and back Sure they'd find that description somewhat alack But I have loved them more than my messed up life The best parts of me and that person, my ex-wife As life moved on I found me alone with myself Trying to survive illness with books from a shelf I set out with some inspiration to learn poetry As perhaps a way to reach back inside for dignity And though this might be a laugh to some I fear As much as I love William Blake and Mr. Shakespeare If I am asked I must hang my head in that noose And confess of all the poets studied, it's Dr. Seuss Dr. Seuss of the so many word plays and endless rhymes That surely too many feel these as a series of crimes It is from the world read to two angels that I have learned Among the best lessons that I've yet discerned Finding that self pity is a useless sort of indulgence There is so much more to be gained through diligence And that in seeking to teach my daughters right attitude I learned myself that the right life begins with gratitude Drifting across the pages filled with so many words And a little space I learned to appreciate the strange birds Life is so often a bit messy and filled with complexity That too stumble through best requires a bit of flexibility Preparing two hearts filled with beauty for their schools I found that there are times to throw out grammar and rules Keeping their futures steadily in full view I found it true That there is seldom anyone better at being you than you Reading with my eyes shut I taught them about imagination And from this I watched in amazement at their creations Emphasizing in the right sizing that the more we know The more certainty there is that there are more places to grow With a look of perplexity I spoke with them about trees As we walked the woods speaking of the Lorax and the breeze Teaching them and me that the world needs to care a lot So that the beauty that cannot speak will never, ever be forgot As their teachers talked to them about the need for conformity I smiled at them teaching them that the world has its enormity And that while there is a lot to said about ensuring cleanliness It's the standing out not the fitting in that is next to Godliness Small town, large town, I had lived in so many, too many places But never had I seen such love as the love in those two faces A speck of dust can contain the world without any vanity As long as two hearts, maybe three, kept open to the mystery All around the words of Seuss inspired and kept them fired That there was and is a world to explore even when tired And that if they keep their hearts open to the beautiful They will find a world filled to the brim with the wonderful And so I confess and take my rest in saying it a bit loose But there is no finer poet than the man who was Dr. Seuss I say this wholeheartedly and quite excitedly, no second guess Beyond a doubt, Neil Pert aside, Dr. Seuss is the very best (c) April 14, 2020 Michael Doyle All Rights Reserved