Take, Strike, and Speak

There is a matchbook in my
pocket stemmed with words.
I tear them out, one at a time,
to strike against the grains of the day.
My words become fire – warming,
burning, casting light and shadow.
Vintage matchbooks held twenty,
equal to the number of smokes in a pack
(in case you ever wondered).
It is similar with the matchbook
in my pocket, enough words to match
the day’s moments. After that, quiet.
Every morning the book is mercifully
restored. And I am charged to take,
strike, and speak to remember.

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  1. Michele Morin on August 30, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Grateful for the new book, restored every morning — so often the match fails to spark and the cardboard crumples between my fingers.
    But then, a new day and new words.

  2. dirtyhandsofhope on August 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Beautiful metaphor, thank you

  3. Jody Lee Collins on August 30, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    powerful (and beautiful) metaphor indeed. (I had no idea about the matches/cigarettes ratio, even tho’ both of my parents smoked all their days.)

  4. pastordt on September 2, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Sometimes I wonder about that book, especially when the words seem ill-fitting or unhelpful. But I choose to hope that this is true, true, true.

  5. Art Friday: The Sketchbook – Memoria Arts on September 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

    […] John’s Take, Strike, and Speak has been the poem tucked into my pocket the last few days.  It’s such a hard lesson to learn, this. And he reminds me. […]

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