Robert Green wrote the poem ‘He Says … I Say’ in 2011 when he was in his late 20s.
At the time he was working through the High Performance Learning Basic Language and Learning Skills Course to overcome his dyslexia and improve his reading. He was also in the middle of the Advanced Study Skills Program to help him with his university studies in Psychology.
‘He Says … I Say’ was the first poem Robert ever wrote! He got inspired to write it by the following line from a Bob Seger song called ‘Against the Wind’:
‘I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.’
As you will see, that line prompted Robert to think very deeply about his Mind Set and changing his whole approach to life now he had such vastly improved language and comprehension skills. This is, something that frequently happens during the courses we run at High Performance Learning.
‘He Says … I Say’ is a very deep poem – so do it justice by reading it a number of times – you won’t be disappointed.
He Says … I Say
by Robert Green
The sticky smelly glue
Steadfastly remains despite innumerable scrubs
The mask is pulled toward him by the force of magnetism
Suck, suck, sucking back onto his sticky face
I wrench it off my face yet again
Once more I put the damp cloth to my cheeks
Still the tacky feel
The smell as potent and putrid as ever
Seemingly as washing ceases
I wonder whether to allow the mask its place unchallenged
A much less arduous way forward, surely … he thinks
The clowder of cats flourish with each masky moment
They preach to him in unison about the person he has become
A person they have complete control over
They have convinced him to lie
A skill he has become so adept at he is unaware
Washing continuously will waste water
It will take time, time he doesn’t have
Not only that, his skin will become dry
Without the mask I feel invigorated
With the mask he is trapped
Without the mask I am challenged
With the mask he feels familiar
To keep ripping the mask away requires my utmost attention
To allow the mask to stay he feels safer
Life without the mask is riddled with fear
So is life with it
Fulfilment, excitement, risk and satisfaction
Or, boredom, feline dominance littered with escapist pleasure seeking
And a depressing, lonely regret filled death
As he drifts away
He knows now what it feels like without it
The crossroad approaches
He timidly seeks the approval of clowder
Knowing both sides must be better than not?
Do I really want to know what I know?
Dreams may give temporary relief
As the sun rises he must choose
To fight or be a sheep
2nd November 2011