The Quest

Posted: April 9, 2010 in Poetry

I slammed at Bill Brown last night. I don’t what it is, but I just never feel ‘comfortable’ there. I love the show and totally support it… but the whole ‘short poem’ thing… well, it just isn’t me.

CONTEXT: January, 2009

Still reeling from the loss of Steve (forever, really, but you know what I mean). I went to one of Sean Zio’s Dusty Owl Playdates. The playdate is a little writer’s circle where Sean gives a challenge and everyone writes and shares… whatever they want.

I honestly don’t recall what the challenge was when I wrote this. I do remember telling people it was a little unfocused and I didn’t have the arc planned out when I started. Then I read it and then looked at me like I was insane. πŸ™‚

It shares some thematic qualities with this one. It also refers to one of my older poems.

    The Quest

With four decades
Some things never change
As awareness became desire,
A feeling of confusion or
A witness to a passing world
That never seemed real,
Until that world is defined
By a lack of… something.

Facts and figures driven in
As imagination is pushed aside
While being given the loftiest of
Lip service.

Stern faces and pursed lips
As practicality is ignored.
The most common admonishment
Always including the words
‘Potential’ and ‘wasted’.

But when the quest remains hidden
Even from the questor
Pushing seems futile.
Logic is no ally
When the world rewards
And ability is only paired with

“What do you do?” he asked.
I looked at him, unclear about the
What do I do? I live. I love. I write. I sing
(In private). I play with numbers for the joy of it.
I walk the dog. I laugh.
I listen. I learn. I read. I learn. I live.
He looked at me like I just fell
From the moon.
“No,” he said, “what do you do for a
I considered feigning confusion
And arguing that all the things
I said did make up living,
But instead I said, “Oh. I work
For the government.”
And I was diminished.

I have said elsewhere that
I work in a place where
Creativity is misdefined as
Problem-solving and art is
Something inoffensive put on a boardroom wall
Because some expert said
It was ‘conducive’ to something
Or other.
But that is not
The real reason I chafe.

The reality is that I remain
Out of synch while I am there
Like they and I don’t exist on
Precisely the same plane of
And it is not them who are out
Of phase with me.

The quest continues, searching
For something unknown, maybe
I have learned to share my words
Unleashing a flood of ideas,
Feelings and the lot
Helping the focus to sharpen,
If only for a moment.

For nearly thirty years
I have said that nobody
Understands me… and they don’t.
What I never said is that
Includes me.
What is my purpose?
My mark?
What is my reason for being?
If I find out, will I believe it?

I need to know
And may never know.
I need to know
And may never know.
I need to know.

Each grail is unique
To the seeker
And illusionary to all others.

It is said that the path
Is more important than
The destination, and I believe it
But if we know that there is
No trophy at the end
Do we keep following the path?

Of would knowing
Turn the journey into something else

I need to know.
One day.


Next up is one of my most popular poems from last year. It is the one I named my chapbook after…

  1. Tammy MacKenzie says:

    Love it.
    Maybe it’s because I can totally relate to it! πŸ˜€

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rusty Priske. Rusty Priske said: #rustythepoet The Quest […]

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