And off they go - in fits and starts they yell.
Or sometimes in soft tones they will reveal
a creature bidden from the depths of Hell
or hidden gems of beauty most surreal.
But when I call they seem to flit away,
like frightened birds upon a shaken bough.
Their absence brings a fear I can’t allay,
that ne’er again will they be with me now.
Then all at once - ah, yes! They have returned,
although they whisper so I barely hear.
And my heart swells - my love they have not spurned -
and slowly doubt can start to disappear.
I strain to hear what tale they bring to mind,
with pen in hand, and paper ready, too.
First one word comes, then several more in kind -
a timid trickle soon becomes a slew.
And those words tell the story of a man,
the picture floats before my very eyes.
I write as fast as any writer can
of journeys that unfold ‘neath clear blue skies.
The words, they tell me what should happen next -
I write of heroes, demons, souls possessed.
Of magic lands and old, forgotten texts,
and gentle maidens lonely and distressed.
The story ends as lovers part in death.
The words tell of a noble sacrifice.
I bring to life the hero’s dying breath.
With poignant words he’s sent to paradise.
And with “The End,” I slump and cry out loud,
without the will to read or write or speak.
I feel not joyous or relieved or proud.
I loved that hero - his death leaves me bleak.
At last I ask myself, “What is this, then?”
the paper drooping limply in my hand.
“Am I the writer? Or am I a pen
that just obeys the words' every command?"