Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Thespis Gene

Me as Macduff battling the giant Macbeth.

The Thespis Gene

“The highest form of wisdom is kindness.”
--Talmud quote.

It all started for me when I was ten,
watching movies way too often;
embarking on divers cinematic journeys,
preparing what became my inner thespian.

When alone, dropping to my adolescent knees,
imitating famous movie stars with ease,
teaching myself rhythm, beat, breath & enunciation;
for my naked ambition was far more than a tease.

Soon I mastered concise articulation,
beginning to hear that audible ovation
standing there at a life junction,
needing more than self-praise as my unction.

I stepped out onto the stage while in high school,
winning a silver cup as senior class Best Actor,
which I thought was pretty cool,
only to discover later I had been a fool. 

I pursued a fantasy career portraying odd characters,
doing it alone, without any sort of benefactor,
rushing toward epiphany following heartbreak;
I’d have been wiser to learn to drive a tractor.

For a decade I labored until my soul began to ache,
but a decent living I was never able to make,
as my ego was beaten daily to ground--
so I walked away still erect for my own sake. 

For it was not necessary for me to wear a crown,
because soon after my true self was happily found
as I became a compassionate teacher of the blind,
a healer--now that had authenticity in its very sound.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this Ruba'i Poem to you?


Brian Miller said...

its cool that you had that dream early...and that you lived it out a bit at least, even if you did not achieve it fully or had to give it up...ironically mary wrote about dreams like that as well....nice realization there in the last bit....

Anthony Desmond said...

so much passion and life in here; I think it's awesome to be able to find what you love early on. It's definitely better to jump and realize you were foolish later, than to be old and wondering "what if?!?". I'm glad in the end you wound up doing something that makes you truly happy and a nice living...

Björn Rudberg said...

I can understand this a lot.. it's about to live a dream.. which is probably good, but having to be successful is another thing.. Glad you could find a new road... So glad you're here with your quatrains...

Claudia said...

i'm glad you found your way glenn and were able to do what made sense for you... it is tough to give up dreams but often when a door closes we find a new and better one..

Mary said...

I enjoyed this journey through your history, Glenn. I am sure that even though your early dreams did not come to pass at least you gave it a try and have an interesting period of time to look back on. I am sure that as a teacher of the blind you wore a different kind of crown!

Gabriella said...

How very honest to admit to yourself that you were probably following the wrong path! It takes courage to face one's failures and even more to change one's course of action.

Managua said...

Stunned that you pulled that out of the hat so quick. I was interested to see what you would do with such rigid rules. I stand amazed.

Anonymous said...

You have such a conversational tone in this poem...and to have done so within the confines of the form, I must say this is well done indeed!

Wolfsrosebud said...

where's nothing like dramatic play for the young... that's why we need to be so careful in what we allow them to watch... a teacher for the blind, now that's dramatic

Grace said...

I like the personal very much Glenn ~ Good for you to follow your own path and listening to your own authentic sound ~

Anonymous said...

you chased a dream - that's the true meaning of living.

Truedessa said...

It's good to have dreams and to follow them for a bit to see what will become. But, a fool I say no for a wise man was found on a new
path a healer & teacher.

Bodhirose said...

It saddened me to hear you say you were a fool and I wonder if you really could have been a success if only you had a mentor, someone to encourage and guide you. I'm still rooting for that young man! Thanks for such a heartwarming story that shared your wonderful teaching career. Bravo!

Beachanny said...

Great self-portrait Glenn. The good news is all those acting skills set you up perfectly to teach and the gratification is the same or better. You know the thespian is alive and well inside you! (and so do we)

seasideauthor said...

I enjoyed reading your poetry and form is so perfect. Some dreams like yours should be considered wisdom gained. And your quatrains are from your awesome experiences.

Sumana Roy said...

it was worth trying...all our attempts in this life only add to our treasure trove of experiences..thanks for this wonderfully honest share Glen...a lovely write :)

Susan said...

Good use of form--and good form for the content. Need we disparage the dreams of youth because they weren't successful and didn't build up our retirement funds? I think it is form to say so and there is a little bitterness in failure--but what freedom too. I miss the innocence of it. Don't you?