Today’s Poetry Type:
X: Sometimes there is a rhyme (but no reason!)
Xavier and the Xylophonists
Xavier and the Xylophonists were a band of zenophobics –
No, I didn’t misspell that!
They were afraid to relax and just let themselves play –
they didn’t want to fall flat!
So they spent twelve years in rehearsals for the show ahead –
but never beat the high hat!
When all the years of study were done, they found their passion gone –
And all their dreams went splat!
I thought this poem wasn’t going to rhyme, when I first wrote it. I also just had Xavier and the Xylophonists pop into my head as a title, and, of course, X is one of the Dreaded Letters on the journey from A to Z.
But it turns out that there is in fact a rhyme there, and even a reason…yes, the band’s story is an allegory of sorts. They’re not unlike school children, spending a dozen years, and sometimes more, practicing and preparing for life in the “real world.”
And meanwhile, the “real world” is out there, all around, the whole time, beyond the walls of the school building. It’s all but invisible from inside, but, if you’re not contained in that reality, it’s just….life. Readily available, in every breath.
Xavier and the Xylophonists are endlessly preparing and rehearsing…they never make it to the big time, because they’ve worn themselves out with all their practice. They’ve burned out, and come to the big show passionless and uninspired.
Too often, this is the reality for young adults coming out of school. They began at age 5, or sometimes younger, and spent more than a decade going through the lessons and lectures, doing the homework, taking the tests, being graded and assessed. If they were passionate about something they learned there, it might be only a day or two of their year, before they’re required to move on to other things, because the curriculum demands it.