When I finally ran out of boxes and book cases and nooks to look through. I came to the depressing conclusion that they had to be utterly and unequivocally lost ... and yet, I searched some more.
Then, one recent afternoon, the folder containing those precious verses stared up at me out of a cardboard coffer I felt remonstrated, as if I should have known that it was there, waiting for me, all along.
I found myself recalling a quote that is commonly, though possibly mistakenly, attributed to Albert Einstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Yep.
So, how is it possible to overlook one particular box, in a stack of boxes, repeatedly? It all comes down to an assumption that had staunchly embedded itself in my desperately impatient brain.
But, there I stood, at long last, holding that file in my eager hands, only to stare at the cover warily, wondering whether the poems therein were actually up to the caliber that I had ascribed to them.
As I gingerly opened the folder and read the first poem, a great sigh rippled through my being. "Cancer Dancers" had held it's own over time! It is still the articulate and consummate poem I once knew.
Many of the subsequent poems in that file also held to the standard that I cling to, though some will need a bit of reworking. I do so love editing my work, but my fear of finding crude, lazy work was abated.
Memories are prone to being greatly gilded beyond their original form, and the notions my mind had retained of past poems were mere scraps of occasional lines and initial intent. I'd had doubts.
As it turns out, losing those poems, for a time, has proved them. Had I actually rifled through each and every box and found them early, I might already have attempted to needlessly amend them.
This keenly reinforces my earlier post about keeping the originals. Sometimes, a piece as it was meant to be, but how can one really gauge this when the originals have been, sadly, thrown away.
Due to my recent writers drought, I had assumed that I lacked sufficient material to produce a third book in my Echoes series, but no! As I read through these rediscovered poems, I now have a stronger impetus to that end, and I am enormously encouraged.
"Welcome back, old friends!
Where smokestack fumes
Melt into rain cloud skies,
Where life between the
Toxic layer dies,
Where man’s cacophony
To hound the ear
With hummed vibrations dated,
Where minds lie steeped
In phosphorescent tubes,
Where plastic proteins
Pose as staple foods,
Where spirits break
Beneath an axe of taxes,
Where rules of conduct
Vie for vulgar maxims,
Where people as an
Acrid cancer spread
All virtues of this Earth
Are rendered dead.