the crab apple drops
rolls almost no where
the sweet smell of death
twilight & tall grass
against the rock
two boys sitting
in an old camper
a boy and a girl
around the willow in circles
and other odd shapes
kids playing tag
ten thousand fireflies
So, I have been giving this some thought lately. I don’t mean it facetiously. How does one write the perfect poem?
What is the perfect poem?
Who decides what a poem is?
Who decides what perfect is?
Does that matter?
Here’s what I’ve got:
- There is such a thing as a perfect poem, but it’s super-duper ultra secret and I can’t tell you what it is.
- The first step in writing the perfect poem – or the perfect anything for that matter – is to have an incredibly brilliant, startling, completely true and utterly amazing thought.
Barring that kind of thought, the perfection of your poem is pretty limited, so you should give up on perfect and just aim for amazing or brilliant.
Anyone have more insight on this? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
I dream of distance,
of miles, of feet, of inches
the long stares down short roads
the short steps that accumulate on the sides of mountains
the winged leaps that do not land
but float to the absent place where clouds waste away
I dream of eternity,
of timelessness, of hours, of seconds, of now
the perfect watch
that sees the perfect heart
the hands that count
away the clock
the cloven feet that step along the path less chosen
horned and woolly, blind and vacuous – up the slope
I dream of space,
of lightyears, of novas and nebulae
the endless nothing between the microns
the long slip that becomes a wish of dust
the gill-less dive that leaves me unbreathing
into the abyss.
In a mess of mortar and brick
trowel and point, bucket and brush,
we lay down a level
until it is all square as it can be.
After hours of hose,
thick wires scouring red clay,
we agree: this is clean.
Dry hands crack. The cracks bleed.
Skin becomes pink and tender,
and discrete tears puddle
just to prove the point
was not perfect.
Everyone smiles, everyone rejoices,
in this new place, that was shattered
and broken and edgeless.
I would marvel too, but I know
the impropriety of the foundation.
I smile too and wait for it to crumble.
Do you think your tongue so sugared dear
that all are enrapt by the sweetness of your words?
You are not the candy, alas, I fear
you think such things without the truth you are absurd.
Do you think your eyes are chocolate-bitter
that they speak to the little boys you’ve snared?
You are not the candy, nor the apple fritter
just another hapless fool that love has dared
to push the limits of propriety.
Do you think that you are so pure as sweet?
Even in the whirlwind variety
of your foolish youth, such love is incomplete.
Sugared lips, and candied hips and a crushed walnut
do not true love create
Set back your dreams and girlish schemes
before it is too late.
here is the truth of loss
what existed, exists
here is truth of found
what is found, must first be lost
here is the truth of hope
what might exist, must exist
here is the truth of despair
what ends, must first begin
here is the truth of socks
where one exists, so does two.
with a flash of orange
a kestrel lifts a tiny mouse
up to the feces stained walls of her nest
her noisy chicks become quiet
as they eat
the remains rot over time
and the smell joins the symphony
of her droppings.