Tightrope Walking

Life is poetry
poetry is Life
in the
at risk

for Poets United

note: this is my own version of a concrete poem; a wobbly T representing the tightrope that is life, we have to balance.

Chick on a balancing act

On Writing and Living…

for Blogging Around with Rommy

I once tried clog dancing. Ah no, wait! It was actually line dancing. See I can’t even tell the difference. 🙂 I don’t doubt though that clog dancing is a great form of exercise. But I tell you, nothing gets the heart racing like walking the tightrope.

One of the techniques needed to walk on a tightrope is to mount the line on one foot with a friend sitting on the line. I read all this from somewhere, of course, I’m not a professional tightrope walker.

Life is a balancing act. Finding that balance can be elusive at times. But I learned from early on that I don’t have to do life alone.

In my support system, I have words. Words are my friends, I trust them with my confidences. I’m talking here about the simple act of journalling.

With January days full and flustered, juggling all sorts, I found myself reaching for an old notebook as I tried to clear out clutter from the shelves. In that notebook, I came across one long forgotten draft that made me laugh till my stomach hurt.

It’s a draft of an absolute rubbish story that was inspired by frustrated jottings I had put down in my journal. Someone else might not necessarily find the story funny. But it’s a story where I poke fun at myself. I wrote it in first POV and as a male protagonist whose occupation is writing. I’ll stop there…

But rereading this story reminded me that I actually write to entertain myself first, before I worry about the reader. That’s a real good feeling. It takes off the pressure to perform and puts joy back into the creative process.

This is how I walk the tightrope…with words to catch me, if I fall.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. As a poet, I am thinking you ARE a professional tightrope walker… You have all you need to take us to great heights, including a pole and a net for those who fall from high metaphors!

  2. I love your Wobbly “T.” Perfect, and hopefully if we fall, we won’t fall far?

  3. I love the shape of your poetic tightrope, and delight in how well it does what it says. Life is, indeed, poetry and then back. And the best bits of poetry and living happen in between.

    Your bits on writing and living had me rolling, too. I’ve been sharing about my rewriting ventures, so you already know. One of the things that keep my energies fed is every time I find something I wrote a long time ago–some pieces are so horrid, they they leave me roaring tears of laughter. I love seeing the joy I put on terrible (but very therapeutic) writing. I love comparing the thens and the nows and seeing how I’ve grown. Best of all (and I’m almost willing to say that the same might be true for you), I love seeing how my muse gets closer and closer towards the sort of balance which I know will always keep me fed.

    You know, I might have to try clog dancing. Just for kicks. 😀

  4. First, I adore the poem – the structure, what it has to say about the delicate balance between life and art. Good stuff.

    Second, yes in total agreement with the idea that we need to first enchant ourselves with that right combination of words that hit all the sweet spots in our souls. Maybe the first drafts that come out of that may be unintentionally hilarious (ooh, do I have rough drafts that are really ridiculous), but we have to start with that feeling in our hearts before we can make something that reaches anyone else. Thank you so much for contributing to Blogging Around with Rommy

  5. Wonderful! I love this poem. I wish I had written it!

  6. Love this – the poem as well as your write-up about your balancing act. Nice that you write for your own entertainment. I do too much of the time but I do it even more with painting and drawing. I try to balance in all, but I tip over sometimes.

  7. The answer is to please yourself first before other people. It is very important to like yourself and get along with him or her…then you can face the world.

  8. KC I love (and touch by) your confidence in my writing. As for high metaphors, I’m a bit nervous with the upcoming one, I hope I don’t disappoint!

  9. A real stretch to keep it together, hence the wobbly. 🙂 And you are right, the best bits happen in between.

    Isn’t it lovely to just write without fussing much about the writing itself! To simply pour whatever is in your mind on paper. It is absolutely fun and therapeutic.

    I sometimes cringe though, when I compare the thens and the nows. Poor members of my writers’ group, the torture I put them through with those raw drafts. But it is part of the process and the muse will be thankful.

    Oh dear, the clog dancing! I’ll wait till summer. But you go ahead, and have fun with it. 😀

  10. Thank you, Rommy. Life and art is a delicate balance, indeed.

    I agree, it is important to start with (and maintain) that feeling of enchantment. Otherwise, there will be no joy for all parties concerned.

    Hearing about your “ridiculous” drafts (Magaly also confessed that she has some too) I’m tempted to read and amuse myself with them. Perhaps, in summer when I have more time and read all sorts, I’ll ask for a swap. Let’s see who else’s got a hilarious draft. 😀

    And once again, thank you for hosting us.

  11. Hi Myrna! Lovely to see you around. I bet it’s more fun to entertain yourself with painting and drawing. To tip seems part of the game, we to constantly realign for balance.

  12. What a joy to find that which is old still brings a smile to your face. It’s not often we take time to laugh at ourselves instead of critiquing ourselves.

  13. You are absolutely right, it’s not often we take time to laugh at ourselves. Thank you Phillip for the visit, and reading.

  14. A brilliant write Khaya! Your words hit the spot! You were meant to find that story and have a great laugh! You are so right, about entertaining yourself first, then the reader. It’s like me and my painting. It has to come from my soul first! Big Hugs!

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