Bloganuary – Day 9

What is the most memorable gift you have received?

In answer to this prompt, I’ve decided (once again) to share something I wrote years ago.

“The Gift” is a seven-minute speech I wrote for Toastmasters where the objective of the speech was to be entertaining. I delivered this speech more than once and did so without the use of notes.

It’s a tribute to a poem written by my grandmother and, although the title and topic are the same, this remains my own work with the exception of the opening line and final paragraph where only a few words were altered.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

The Gift

We receive a magnificent gift at birth,
That is firmly attached to our soul.
It’s part of our nature, completes our creation,
It’s key to making us whole.

This gift is your talent, your trick up your sleeve,
You can use it at will any hour.
I’m silly I know, because I like to think,
This knack is your own superpower.

Before I go on, you might like me to say,
Who bestows such a gift upon you?
It’s, the person upstairs, the Big Kahuna,
Krishna, Allah, Shung Dee or Vishnu.

Ganesha, Karora, Odin or God,
Whoever you believe it may be.
They looked down upon you and they smiled and they said,
“Here’s a little something from me.

So pay close attention, don’t go on ahead,
Never knowing I gave you this gift.
Remember to use your biggest advantage,
Don’t traverse life’s river adrift.”

So what could it be bestowed upon me,
Was my gift not simply humdrum?
Was I lucky enough to receive something grand?
Would it style me a great paragon?

Oh, would that I could be so famous or rich?
Could I sing or perhaps play a tune?
Would that I could be in charge of a rocket,
That’s flying me up to the Moon?

I’ve scratched my head more than once, more than twice,
Pondering these perplexing conundrums.
And I’ll now share with you, without further ado,
How I came to answer these questions.

I’ve stood with my back straight, all hushed and quiet,
As the stage hand raised up the curtains.
Dreaming that one day I too might be famous,
Just like the Taylor’s and Burton’s.

Great talent for acting blesses so few,
Their fortune and fame quite enticing.
Yet I barely scratched my way into a play,
And was asked to manage the lighting.

I sing while at home and I sing in the car,
I sing when and where ever I please.
I do try so hard to learn all the words,
And rehearse striking all of the keys.

Yes, I wish I received the gift of song,
With my voice considered euphonious.
But the scratchy old sounds that come from my throat,
Could only be termed erroneous.

I have friends who play music, they bash out a tune,
Entertaining the masses who listen.
They travel the world and play on the stages,
Of Europe, the US and Britain.

Though I tried to learn the notes and the beat,
My decision on this one’s quite final.
No fortune’s awaiting for me to collect,
From the way I’ve learnt to scratch vinyl.

I guessed those fine arts were not quite my thing,
Perhaps painting or drawing may flow?
So I sat with some pencils and paper on knee,
Attempting to be a Van Gogh.

To my abstract efforts at flowers and plants,
No intelligent soul would lay claim.
The one thing I barely manage with pen,
Is to scratch, sorry, sign my own name.

Now don’t laugh too hard, there once was a day,
When my body was not quite so curvy.
From my efforts at sports though I would forgive you,
For thinking I suffered from scurvy.

At softball, I thought I’d help out the team,
I’d be strong, willing, able and stout.
But scratched from the card my name always was,
My spot labelled – left-right-out.

And I did have a go at riding a bike,
Just to feel the wind through my hair.
Yet I thought as I fell scratching my elbows and knees,
“What the heck are you doing, Clare?”

My mother told me “Make something of life,
And not merely scratch out a living.
Remember your money just doesn’t appear,
By some magical act of accounting

Yet I went to the bank to check on my statement,
To confirm every penny I own.
As I walked through the door, the manager said,
“Do sit down. Let me give you a loan.”

I’ve been able to Access the Word on my Outlook.
That’s the PowerPoint where I Excel.
On a Mac or PC, I know I’m in charge,
With the software right under my spell.

Still, I never could grasp the physics of space,
Rocket Science that sounds like to me.
And my dreams of the Moon will simply remain,
On the ground my feet firmly will be.

No great aptitude found its way here to me,
And by now I’m sure you have guessed.
I scratch out a living, I scratch out a tune,
All my efforts are scratchy at best.

My feet sometimes prickle, my palms and my head,
My whole body demanding I move.
And find a new challenge, ejecting my soul,
From a place that’s a comfortable groove.

Choose to believe me or not, nonetheless,
My gift’s led me to strange diverse things.
To put up my hand and give it a go,
Accepting whatever life brings.

I’m old enough now to embrace what it is,
Its not led me to organised crime.
It did though compel me to sit down and think,
And pen for you this funny rhyme.

So I know that my gift wasn’t beauty or smarts,
I was neither born lucky nor rich.
Therefore by the scratching that so governs me,

I can say ……

I was born with the ITCH!

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

Read more about Bloganuary here.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

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