Humble BeginningsChristian Calhoun
When I first put the poem of Missy Black on paper, I had no idea how it would turn out. Years ago, it was merely a fun activity to share for a poetry reading at the local library. In a few short months, it became much more than that. But I am getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?
So, I shall start at the beginning and go on from there.
One splendidly dull day, while searching for books that could improve my understanding of the world, at the district library, the head librarian informed me of a poetry-reading that was to take place within three weeks. Although she acknowledged that I was terrified of social settings, she became fixed that I should attend. Eventually, she was able to conquer my social-awkwardness and persuaded me to join the reading.
For days I contemplated what I was to recite. My nerves were driving me crazy, my heart palpating, my hands sweaty from writing poem after poem. And yet none of them were life-changing or incredible, like the kind you’d find from a best seller. So I kept writing.
One evening, as I lay wide-awake in bed, pondering upon one of my favorite Hans Christian Anderson fantasies, I felt the urgency to see a blank sheet of paper and the feeling of a pen/pencil in my hand. As unusual as it sounds, that is what happened. These unexpected inspirations don’t come often, so as quick as I could, I grabbed a sheet of paper and a pencil then proceeded to stare at the white and blueish lines before me.
My hand moved, yearning to write, but most of the time I have no clue on what I am about to portray in words. Suddenly, the first line appeared; “I was there when it happened, I will tell a story true. A tale of so long ago, I am one of the very few.”
Coming from a writer’s perspective on a deadline, this sounded like complete rubbish! However, I knew better than to contend with my fingers on what I should write. So instead of tossing the piece of paper out in the nearest trash bin, I waited, hopeful that this odd poem would be the chosen one (at the moment I highly doubted this proposition).
The next verse came all too fast. “Who’d even dare to relay, a tale so hard and cold. In the days when pirates lived, to bury treasured gold!”
At first, I couldn’t comprehend what I was writing, but eventually, it dawned on me. This would be my very first pirate poem ever! I’ve written about birds, worms, wind, even water, but never pirates. So with that little bit of enthusiasm and excitement to see what happened next, my hand continued writing. And within thirty minutes, the poem was finished.
Since it was bedtime, I decided to wait the next morning to share my door-prize poem with my mother. She loved it! So, with that, the heroic tale of Miss Cook aboard Missy Black’s ship was chosen to the be the poem I’d read.
This is the point where I skip a few weeks since the in-between stuff is annoying and all, but I do want to mention how my mother decided to publish my brother’s poem and my poem; and how the whole book series got started. But I believe we shall save that for the next adventure.
Don’t forget; The best sailors are those who fought the most raging storms.
Blessings and Shalom;