A poem
Of a truly poetic nature
Would never refer to itself
Instead it would stay
at the cusp of the day
filling up a drop of dew
that hangs from a lonely leaf
always hanging, never dropping
Until a persistent ray
Of warmthening sun
Would rise above itself
To meet the challenge
That verse-filled drop
out of existence

And that steam
would later be captured
In the thin mist of
Nervous perspiration
On the brow of
A young lover
As he approaches the door of
She whom he most desires

And never conquered-
Never conquered
Not the steam
Nor the drop
Nor the noonday sun
None of these,
Or the armies that follow
can defeat
the dream of a love

And that is not to say
That there had been no attempt
At tarnishment
That is not to say
That there had been no
That is not to say that
There had been no battle,
Then triumph, then battle again,
Then defeat, then triumph
And more battle
There were all those things
And more
In the young lover’s heart
as he reached the door
And he mopped at the mist
that gathered on his brow
As he anticipated
the evening, and the morrow

And why would a dewdrop
transformed into the bead of a young lover’s anticipation
And all the unknown battles that were fought to produce it
Why would these, together
with the young lover himself,
and his lover as well
ever confess
To being a lowly poem
or worse– mere players within?

A proper poem would never
Pull off that mask
It would never
Answer that question (or another)
A proper poem
would not step right up
and introduce itself
It would not look you in the eye
And profess its true nature

Proper poems are more sly than that
They make me jealous
Sneaky bastards.


November 13, 2004