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  • Writer's picturePatrick Sheil

The; Wild Horses


With respect to the works and legacy of Stephen Hillenburg

I look to the television screen and see a mirror,

though I do not know it to be such yet.

A pencil glides across paper

cheered on by its holder, plucky as ever

pouring his heart and soul onto the page

He gazes upon his handicraft

baroque and magnificent, it reads as thus:


It’s the first part of what should be a greater whole

yet all through the night, that’s all there is.

Just “The”.

An opus, stillborn.

The mind wanders far from its tracks,

only re-railed at the last second

out of sheer, impending necessity.

So long ago, this was just a farce to me

distant from reality

but time and time again, it plays out

with me in the lead.

Me, writing a simple “The” and mustering nothing more

for hours

for days

chasing a million other things

as though there’s no rush, no deadline

hanging over me like Damocles’ sword.

That isn’t to say that I pretend it isn’t there;

it’s prescient, and it drowns me

in an ocean of dread, all-consuming.

Yet, I sit there

at my desk

pencil in hand

like a simple sponge

staring at the page,

decorated by the scarcest of marks,

my excuse for a night’s handiwork:


Wild Horses

I’m always chasing

the tales of wild horses,

calling for me to venture out,

so breakneck as they run away from me,

giving little hope I can ever keep pace

(not that I've ever been terribly athletic).

I reach for the reins, and sometimes,

I hold on, saddling the storied stallion I prize

but it bucks and it twists and I’m thrown off,

left with mere threads in hand

so it’s back to the drawing board,

to the fields to chase

another wild horse.

All the same,

I dream of the day

when I catch the right horse for me,

strong enough to carry the weight of a world.

Oh, to feel the wind in my hair as the action rises!

To ride for hours until the sunset brings our denouement!

To let the action fall as we retire

to our stable at night.

Until then, I'll keep on

chasing horses.

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