Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Muses Never Tell...

Much can be said about the suffering artist, but what about his muse?

Lady With Seven Stars, By Michelle Wiebe


My muse, Penelope is a fickle sort,
she runs hot and cold when it comes to words.
When I sit down to write, Penelope knows how to disappear.
Writing is difficult this way. The room is too still,
the space small, the air dry, nothing breathes.
"Come outside," she whispers.
"It's raining."
"Yes, lucky you."

Penelope loves the rain. There is something about it
that makes her positively giddy. I go out with low expectations,
but once again, she surprises me.
As the rush of rain hits, it devours me
and leaves me speechless.
Penelope is pleased, she stretches her arms out to the sky and sings.
"Why are you so happy?" I ask.
But Penelope doesn't answer, she just shakes her head.
Sometimes, I wonder what Penelope was
before she met me. In a former life, I imagine her
as a blithe fish, or a pink swan, maybe even a mermaid
or a nightingale, but I never go there with her,
it is just another thing Penelope would never say.

One night I dreamed that Penelope revealed her truth to me.
She held my hand and pointed up to the night sky.
"There, you can always find me there."
I look up at a storm that rages overhead,
it is vicious as it is wide, but at it's core where Penelope points,
hovers a quiet space, it rests among the rapture like a tiny oasis.
It is one part ardent, two parts beautiful.

"Where are you now?"
Penelope feigns a smile. "I'm here, though somedays,
the feeling of a storm is just as real."
I look at Penelope but she doesn't look back.
"Am I the storm, Penelope?"
"No, it's just words," she says, "all these precious words."
When Penelope looks my way, her eyes are wet and sad.
She tries to smile, to laugh it off saying, "Wouldn't it be better to just hide away
amid the tiny, white spaces in between?"
Before I can answer, Penelope is swept away, gone.
I look up only to see the storm's eye glow back at me.

The next morning, the dream sits on the tip of my tongue.
I try to remember it, to write it down but my words feel inadequate.
No matter how much I write, I can't seem to describe the memory of
Penelope or the feeling she left behind.
It isn't until I am ready to give up, that a shifts occurs and I come to understand it,
the moment and all that Penelope never could say.
Sometimes, there just aren't any words left to give.

By Nancy Sima

Do you believe in muses? What do you think your muse would never admit to or say?


  1. Thanks Tam, glad you like it. It's still a work in progress but then, you knew that. ;-)

  2. Maybe it would help if I named my muse!


  3. Hi Debbie! Go for it, it can't hurt. :-)