“What you say means far less than what you do. Your actions are the real you.” (My Coronavirus Diaries, Installment #15)

May 5-8, 2020

A worrying contemplation for me….

I.

What I do is say.

What I observe,
What I learn,
What I know.

Mostly in writing.

On paper,
On tablet.

In emails,
journals (personal),
blogs,

letters—
occasionally published
in the local
newspaper
(3—or is it 4,
To be exact?)

What I do is write.

“Words” is what I do.

Do I make good
on my Words?

If my words say

I will do….

Do I?

Sometimes.

“I will drive you
to the store
tomorrow.”

Tomorrow may be
Stretched
another day,

Because I overslept.

Because I just
Couldn’t,
today.

But, to the store
we will go.

“There’s a meeting in…”
10 minutes.
An hour.
Next week.

“I’ll try to be
there”
means
“I probably won’t.”

“I need you to…”
means
“I will.”

But you will have to
Remind me
Cajole me
Guilt me,
to Do it.

Why?

Because….

I’m afraid
to be held
accountable.

I can’t afford….

That fee.
That risk.
That success.
That failure.

To do.

II.

“So… What do you do?”

“I write.”

“Oh! What do you write?”

“Essays, poems,
an occasional song,
one short story….”

“How interesting. Where can I find your work?”

“Mostly on my blog—this is my sixth year! And—

“Oh… A blog. How nice….”

“And—I have 50-some followers on the site,
Plus 125 on the companion Facebook page!”

“I see…. But are you published??? Anyone can write a…”

“Well, my first-ever short story was
Published in the online edition of
midnight & indigo. And they mentioned
my name in the volume 2 print edition….”

“Oh. Well then…. You’re an online scribe. How nice for you….”

“And I’ve read my poems—
At three live readings
and an online podcast….
By invitation!”

III.

“What else do you do?”

“I serve on the boards of two
Baltimore community organizations.
Representing two distinct communities.
On opposite sides of town—
Northeast (2 years)
and Central West (4 years).

And I recorded my story for
an Oral History Project at
Morgan State University
Last fall.”

“So…. You’re a would-be
community activist
And historian too?”

“I try.

But lately, I’ve pulled back.

Since the pandemic….

I need to focus on… me.
More time
To think
To dream
To mourn
To cry….

“What difference does
My writing make If
it never makes the pages
of a Hardcover/Softcover
Book,
Journal,
Collection, or
Anthology?”



Yesterday, I read,
in a blog post
by a
published,
degreed,
award-winning
poet

I never heard of
before,

that

the degrees,
award-winning,
and accolades
matter
not.

“It’s all dumb luck—
The icing on the cake,”
He declared.

You cannot control
Who your work will
Touch,
Move,
Inspire.

What I do is say.

What I observe,
What I learn,
What I know.

What I do is write.

“Words” is what I do.

 

About this poem: The title came as a prompt from an artist friend. I used the prompt to confront my self. The highlighted lines are a gift from the formatting gods.  


One thought on ““What you say means far less than what you do. Your actions are the real you.” (My Coronavirus Diaries, Installment #15)

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