A Digression Poetique

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?
Robert Browning, “Andrea del Sarto”

There have been two challenges this week to write poetry and I met them faulty pen in hand. I thought I might add my entries to my own blog as an extra post, as I think I’ve taken enough of your time this week. I love poetry. Give me pages of Browning, Dickinson and Yeats and I’m quite content. I spent a lot of time reading and trying to understand it during my undergraduate years. I’ve also tried to write it on occasion. I try to write with certain rules: the poem should rhyme and the rhyme should have a pattern. It should also have a certain amount of syllables per line. After these, it all becomes too complicated for my overtaxed brain.

I found the first challenge (actually, it’s a collaboration in which I was supposed to continue her first four lines) at https://lucysworkscom.home.blog/ and I was to write 4 lines on freedom. This is my entry:

Four rivers run through the garden of Eden,
With all God’s creations and man and his wife
Adam and Eve bite the apple forbidden
Are blessed in knowledge but cursed to this life

Challenge number two was from my friend Jules from the UK at her terrific blog, https://julessmith.co.uk. And her challenge was to write a Covid-19 inspired haiku. If I understand it correctly, the only rule of a haiku is it should have 5-7-5 syllables per line. Here’s mine:

My isolation

Reminds me I’m in need of

Some congregation

Allow me to finish with four poems I’ve previously posted in my own blog:


Forty years working and forty years late

I wanna follow Greeley’s direction west

Gonna stomp the grey dust off my boots

Uncinch this ol’ belt, give the tools a rest.

Lay my hard hat down for the rest of time

Wish my workmates enough wealth and good health

Proudly stride through one last construction gate

And put my faded union card on a shelf

Tomorrow I’m buying a first class ticket

On the transcontinental railroad train

Having never been past Pennsylvania

I wanna see the mountains and the plain

And sit in the bar car with a beer and a snack

Listening to them steel wheels go clickety-clack


The Rightest Wrong One

Of the many men she liked

She liked me the most

Not to say she liked me lots

Just a bit more than those

She looked to the east

When the sun set west

And said, I love you some

But could not love you any less

Of an evening, I’d go for a kiss

She’d turn and offer her cheek

But hug me so tight and warm

I thought maybe I could speak

Of love, but stood in hush’d confusion

As I was only the rightest wrong one


Between you and me
We built such a high wall
To protect ourselves
From tempest and squall
I sat on my side, you on yours
Each alone in shadow and pall
And neither sought a way over
Twas insurmountable and tall
We rented hourly lawyers
And signed our inky scrawl
But now with time and distance
Our big differences look very small

A Walk After Mass

I drive home after a quiet mass

In a fine rain in the middle of June.

A man with only one leg jogs past;

The other leg made of titanium.

I make it home and grab an umbrella,

Before setting off on a walk of my own.

I lose myself thinking what kind of fella

Ends up on Father’s day so much alone.

All’s not entirely right around this place

Though the lawn’s kept trim and the house neat.

On my face, my worries leave their trace

And I wonder if I’ll rise above my defeat.

What a hard world, huh? What a world.

I wish I could be content watching it twirl.

#middleaged #manspov

#middleageddating #lastfirstkiss #love #aging


#autobiography #memories #writing #nyc

3 thoughts on “A Digression Poetique

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