This poem was originally published in June, 2021. This is my first published work. I am reposting it on my blog, because hundreds of new followers may have not seen it. Together, we have come a long way in six month(ish). Honestly, I’ve received so much positive feedback over the past year that I just had to send this emotional poem out into the world again. Let me know what you think in the comments. Click here to read the original post.
Six feet under sixteen tall lilies, Man considers eternity. Eternity’s ears hear no more the lamentations from Man’s regrets.
Regrets forgotten even by sixteen green stems, but Time—the grave gardener.
The grave gardener mows not, plows not, and sows not; He litanies. He litanies as earth buries her one truth: Man wastes with worms.
Worms tunnel the clay and mud and brains and veins of Man’s forgotten pains. Pains the gardener annals away, to be read on heaven’s judgement day. Judgement day, asterisk of eternity, hour saved to open graves. Graves untilled will break open—Man soars above lilies; He’s heaven’s chosen.
“People can shy away from topics because they are hard, and it can be easier to call them dark, rather than truth, or an aspect thereof. I believe that it is in the dark that we can really start to understand the true nature of our world and its people.” —N.L. Blandford
“…I hated him and his kind. I hated his affluence, his expensive clothes, his chiseled looks, and the arrogance he was born too. But most of all, I hated the power he held over me, his assumption of authority, and the truth of his superiority.”
Today, I talk art. I want to share about how much I love to create; that is, I want to show you how writing changed my life.
For those of you who have stumbled on my blog for the first time, here is a quick introduction. My name is W. Alexander, and I am an artist; I am a writer. I am thirty-two, married to a smoking-hot, perfect ten, and I have two kids in diapers. Our family calls New Hampshire home—a writer’s paradise—, and, well, there you have it: I am a writer in New England. However, as you will see, I am also a budding painter and illustrator. As for my day job, I am enrolled full time at University, and I am a stay-at-home modern dad.
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Ever since I was a small child, I wanted to be a writer. Perhaps, you too wanted to do something you felt passionate about and naturally drawn toward, but life did not pan out as hoped. That is what happened to me. I spent my entire twenties following the “rules.” I devoted myself to work, and I prided myself on clocking long hours of hyper productivity. I was the poster boy for the disillusioned American capitalist, and there was little room left, within, to spend time on my passion, my beating-heart, my calling, my writing. So, like all things left unused, my skill decayed—I had forgotten, it seemed, everything I ever knew. In order to write, and write well, I would need guidance; I needed to study creative writing. Ultimately, at thirty-years-old, I went back to school, and am earning a degree in Creative Writing. That was two-years-ago, and, now, I am set to finish my degree in March, 2022. So far, it is working out. I published, for the first time, this spring.
Many writers declare you cannot learn creative writing, and I think, for the most part, they are, excuse my French, full-of-shit. The arts are like anything else: if you want to get better, you have to work and selfishly carve out a schedule for your writing and push yourself beyond what you know and what is comfortable.
Yes, you can learn craft, and any writer worth his salt is devoted to craft, period. So, obviously, grammar and syntax are teachable, but what someone means when they say, “you cannot learn writing.”, they are talking about style, voice, and the artist’s attention to detail.
“What I took from this book? Stephen King is not superman, and neither does the aspiring writer need to be. King makes it clear, writers are made in the trenches, and those who put their nose to the grindstone, and never let anything stop their writing, succeed.”
One thing I know well: Art demands all of you. You can have no Plan B’s for life, or as one of my favorite song artist said, “The greats weren’t great, because a birth they could paint. The greats were great because they paint a lot” (Macklemore). The same laws apply to the art of writing fiction; if you want to be a good writer, you have to write. Talent makes you decent, obsession makes you great.
Once, I dedicated my life to writing, not to become famous or rich, but to do what I love, I have experienced incredible personal growth. Has it been easy? Hell no! Has it been the best experience of my life? Yes. If my wife asks, tell her she is the best experience. I am a writer, and that means, human psychology is my canvas. To write well, you have to write what-you-know, and your knowledge about what motivates, scares, angers, and affirms the individual person are the brushes you will use to paint page after page. The greatest thing about only writing what-you-know is there is always an excuse to keep learning. The bigger your worldview, the richer your work. All writing is autobiographical, it cannot be avoided, so writing helps me stay oriented as a person, neighbor, citizen, and lover.
Come back next week. I may speak more on the subject. Again, go ahead and follow me and share my post with those you know it would benefit. Also, feel free to contact me and discuss the writing life.
Hello, friends and followers, I am back from vacation. I climbed summits and traversed ocean waters—harbor to harbor. I watched seals nap, Bald Eagles fight Seagulls, and I even kissed, yes kissed, a fresh caught lobster. If you know me, you know a week in nature isn’t my vibe, but, now, I am inspired to make that change. Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor fills a man, this man, with a thirst for natural beauty. I believe I am becoming a true New England artist, lol.
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Of course, a much needed, much enjoyed, week in a national park isn’t all that I experienced. My poem, the one recently accepted to be published printed. It is found in Poets’ Choice’s new Anthology Its Not Easy.
I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of the progress I have made as a person and as an artist. I am finally, successfully, living my true self. Cheers, friends, to all whom have the courage to be their honest selves.
Below are pics of our family on vacation. For my email followers:You may have the best viewing experience if you open your email to the webpage.
W. Alexander Dunford I will never forget the television’s blue light that night fifteen years ago. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond played. Outside, beneath black skies, rain pelted our windows and the house’s bones braced against high winds. Thunder shook the walls. It was Father’s idea to watch the movie. He loved violence, and I loved…
I am published, well soon-to-be anyway. My poem Escape Second Death, will be added to PoetsChoice’s new anthology book It’s Not Easy. I admit, I did not consider that my first published work would be poetry—I am a prose guy. However, I am excited, thrilled, and intoxicated from seeing that Accepted on my Submittable; I feel validated. Details are still coming.
Writing everyday is the dream. Writing is my pulse. I am excited to finally be able to answer the dreaded question, “Are you actually published?” with a, “Yes!” I pray this poem is the first among many, of my works, to find itself in front of readers. I am blessed and humbled, and, perhaps, way too excited over a minor publication, but, to me, it is the first points-on-the-board; I shot a three from deep.
I am not sure what I can post about the poem, so, I won’t be providing a copy of it here, until I know more about what I can do. Of course, once it goes into print, I will shout-out to everyone.
My wife and I have been buried in renovations—we don’t know why we decided to do so much at once—and the last two weeks has been filled with family and other strains on my time—volunteering, Church, favors and commitments, etcetera. My writing has really dropped off. Hoping for the routine to spark again soon.
Next week, I will be in Acadia for the week. N.L., Blandford will be taking over my blog. She is a great author, with a debut release, and will share her insight and wisdom with you in the upcoming post.