This week’s free poetry collection celebrating National Poetry Month is Soliloquies & other poems. As I note within the text following the title poem, I got the phrase “I am but a poor player” lodged squarely in my head.

Which, of course, set me in pursuit of the Bard.

Of whom I feel I’m always in pursuit, to be candid. Shakespeare is my personal writing idol, and partly because so little remains of the man and his life while the words and stories have nourished the world.

Of course, The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. It factors into The Prodigal Hour in some ways (the subtitles of each part are phrases from the play), and of course, it’s the play Leonard Kensington is watching when CIRTN calls him back from Elizabethan England. So I love Macbeth, and that’s where I began, because I think a lot of times writing and stories feels like authors’ struggle against the “Tomorrow” speech. . .

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Creeps at its petty pace as a blank-page cursor

From blocked writers’ fingers and dumbstruck brains

Until the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays

Have lighted fools the ways to dusty death on shelves

Stacked high for perusal of contained words and lives.

And of course we write. We prod that cursor forward with the letters and words of stories . . .

Out, out next word, damned blank page, dense ink!

I am but a walking shadow, a poor player

Who struts and frets my hour upon the stage too often,

Tweeting of ephemera and posting ghostly thoughts

In a place that naught exists save as ones and zeroes

In a father’s ’count, hoping that some stray echoes

Will carry ’cross a yawning void. Luck be mine

To be heard at all that “no more” might yet apply.

Mainly because we hope they will last . . .

May my tales yet stay full of sound and fury ’spite

My idiot hands, dumb’d tongue, meekly grasping mind;

Pray my meager talents might stretch to reach ambition,

The Heaven of an oft-told tale, sustaining spirit ’round

A phosphor screen as once the rapt gathered to the flame

Or ’fore the stage, eyes full of wonder, ears of awe,

Hearts to burst with joy ’kin to satisfied consummation.

Read the rest of Soliloquies & other poems free.