The kind of things you may need to do if you wish to write poetry that benefits us all

Immerse yourself in the tradition of English Literature,
preferably during your early years,
so that the inspiration of Donne, or Hopkins, or Keats
is connected with the deepest part of your being.

Avoid the trap of being sucked wholly into the mainstream;
be cunning in your attempts to stay on the fringes,
and accept that discomfort and struggle will be a consequence.

Consider using some mild consciousness expanding substances
to crack open the entrance to your inner worlds,
but do not be fooled into relying on them,
and succumbing to the fall-out from their toxic side-effects.

Look out for the point at which you start to recognise
that reality may not be as it has been described
in your life so far, and accept the confusion that follows.

Discover the therapeutic methods for bringing
clarification and purification to your psyche,
and dissolution of your inner emotional and mental knots,
and apply the methods consistently over many years.

Dedicate yourself to the practice of a meditation tradition,
and enter a community of fellow practitioners,
so that you may continue to develop in awareness,
welcoming your suffering and transforming it,
and sharing the benefit with those around.

Take to heart any advice that suggests the value in
the sharing of insights that nudge people towards
a greater engagement with matters of ultimate concern.

Be alert to any glimpses into the nature of reality,
or the heart of the Buddha’s teachings, or the mind of God,
and translate those realisations into words,
a weak dilution of the power of the moment,
but all that most of us can tolerate.

Shape those words into a form, perhaps poetry,
to which other people can relate.
Repeat.

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