ON POETRY

It's not so easy to rattle off a poem,
but, IMHO,
(that's in-my-humble-opinion,
not I-might-hate-otters
or, the ever popular,
is-Madge's-hands-orange?)
it is easier than pulling a rabbit out of a hat
or cutting a straight line on paper
with only one pair of scissors
or creating non-sequitur, grammatically incorrect acronyms.
I would consider those marginally difficult tasks.

Still, a poem is not unlike pulling the trigger of a gun,
which can lead to death or (worse) serious injury
or a creed for which men die
in the name of God and country,
a fragile, dangerous weapon.

Sometimes, I wonder
if, by swallowing a sword,
we fall on it, too.
(That is a poem itself;
Haiku, actually.)

But what makes a good poem
is not rhyme nor reason
but our universe exploded,
its broken bits of rock and dust
put back together the same way
we placed Humpty Dumpty
back in the china closet
with grandma's Gorilla Glue:
there is something within you --
edible, delicious words --
that made it stick,
whatever they were
back when you believed it,
back when you could be saved.
Take us back there
(I beg you, sage)
to the rabbit in your hat,
the sword in your sheath,
to your little finger on the trigger.

Poetry is only as loud as your unspoken grief,
only as tantalizing as the paint
on the walls you've built around yourself.
It is the torch you carry to not only light the path
but to set the world on fire.

 

 

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