TATE GENTRY
Author Feature - December 2020

I have always been a writer of sorts, especially when you consider the prevalence of music in my family. I learned to write crafting songs, which I think led naturally to other forms of writing. I found that I could say more with a poem than I could with some songs. Of course the opposite is true as well, some themes translate to songs better than poetry. To me that is the beauty of it. Learning how to piece something together, and serving the work until it becomes this beautiful work of art. I've learned when you serve the work well, the writing usually shapes the writer more than the other way around. Which is exactly what keeps me writing. When I look at people, and places and faith, I can't help but want to explore how they weave together into this beautiful tapestry we call life. I see the whole world as this invitation into something greater, and I only hope to be able to show readers as much as I can.

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FEATURED POETRY

All the Good We Left Behind
I watched the mountains be blasted
And the fields go barren.
Lush greens fading
Now sickly black.


We have long forgotten
The feel of hand to plow-
The slow work of the land
Left behind in favor of expedient progress.


We industrialized the farm
Applying to it concepts
Of manufacture and production
Better left in the realm of textiles


Living ground knows no hurry,
Yet, we somehow convinced ourselves
We could master the land, bending
seed, time, and harvest to our wills.


Never did we realize
We mastered nothing
But our demise,
Killing the economy of small farms.


Now I weep,
For all the good we left behind,
Chasing a taste of something we thought better
But, oh if only we had known.

Worn

I step up to the sink,
Plunging my hands beneath the flood
Letting the dirt of my day muddy the cleansing water.
The evidence of my efforts carried off,
Down the drain.


Clean hands, I splash my face,
My arms shake with the memory of my labors.
For once my body feels,
As weary and worn
As my soul.


Closing my eyes I hear the silence.
Is that my heartbeat?
Or is it the passing of time pounding at my soul
With a hammer, heavy as a dying star
Effecting gradual, imperceptible changes?


Yet when stacked up these subtle changes are seen,
I know that.
I know that I am not the same man I was,
Nor am I the man I will be.
I can’t figure out if that is for good or ill.


Yet for all this toiling
I long to find rest,
A way to refresh
To somehow ease,
This bitter burning in my chest.


This constant roiling of emotion
Spilling out in hot tears
Down my cheeks.
I just want to rest.
To find a way to not be so worn.

The Writer’s Blood
One hundred years from now
When everything has changed,
I wonder if anything
Of my life will remain.


Will my words die,
And return to dust with me?
Or will they be hung on walls
In halls for all to see?


I’ll never know the answer,
But I keep hearing the calling page,
So I’ll keep writing
Even if you never know my name.


Even if I write in vain,
I’ll keep bleeding words on the page
As surely as an open vein,
Even if you never know my pain.


My only hope, dearest reader,
Is that I make you feel something,
Make a fleeting moment feel more real,
To remember love and forget the reckoning.


And if I make you feel anything at all
Know that it is because I felt it first.
If I made you feel lonely, it’s because I was,
If I made you feel happy, joy had slaked my thirst.


These words are how I bleed,
How I heal,
How I cry,
These words are how I know the world is real.


And long after you have moved on
Eyes closed, no longer reading
I’ll be here at my desk,
Still bleeding.

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