Poetry’s in the journey . . .

Poetry I cannot force,
it comes and then it goes.
Like a river at its source,
it ebbs and then it flows.

Words, you see, are only that,
and rhyme and rhythm, too.
Poetry’s not pit-a-pat,
but here in me and you.

–in the sun and in the rain,
the things that quiet tears;
in the love and in the pain–
experience of years.

Then the poet, what is she?
She’s nothing like a muse.
Rather, she’s a puppet, see,
and words her only use.

So poetry, my fickle friend,
I wonder what’s in store?
Will you stay until the end,
or show me to the door?
For an audio recording of this poem, click here:

“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”
Charles Bukowski


Note: The first stanza of this poem came to me in a moment of frustration when I was trying very, very hard to write another poem on a very different subject–and getting nowhere. Since that time, it has taken me FOREVER to finish this. Fickle is right!

Image: Pinterest

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40 thoughts

  1. I enjoyed this but this bit made me particularly smile:

    “Then the poet, what is she?…Rather, she’s a puppet, see…”

    I wonder how many poets, writers and artists would smile in recognition of howling in anguish and toil because their muse is hibernating and stubbornly refuses to pull the strings.

    • Haha. I think most of us would recognize that anguish! I find poetry frustrating becomes sometimes it comes easily and then other times it’s like pulling teeth! One of these days I’m going to write a post demonstrating all of the poems I’ve started but been able to finish. There are a lot.

      Hope you’re having a great week!

  2. “Poetry, my fickle friend…”

    “–in the sun and in the rain,
    the things that quiet tears;
    in the love and in the pain–
    experience of years.”

    Knocked it out the park on this one, my friend! If this is what you said you were working on last week, it was definitely worth the effort, and the wait…

    805 thumbs up! :o)

  3. This poem is woven so well, it insulates a clear thought in a beautiful, evolving way. It is like a perfectly formed, graceful, symmetric jellyfish in pristine waters. There’s humor about its undulating, self contained presence, with rhymes being the consistent pulse that moves it; yet it could sting, getting us caught up in those trails leading to poetry’s door. Transparency, too, is implied, that leaves us unsure if we have seen it all. And that leaves the thoughtful door open. A joy to read “Poetry.”

  4. What is poetry but another way to start a network of conversation. Would you say that poetry can express better how a situation occurs for you? Would you say that poetry holds the power to empower you into more creative thoughts?


    • I like that thought, Shakti — that poetry can start a network of conversation. I’d say poetry definitely helps express the feelings stirred by a situation in a very succinct way. I think that that’s the beauty of poetry. It takes out the excess and leaves us with that which matters — raw emotion… which, yes, can lead to even more creative thoughts.

      My problem, as a friend has pointed out, is that that I get too stuck on the technical side of poetry. I allow rhyme and rhythm to dictate rather than thought. I’m working on that.

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Aww, thank you. Actually, I’ve been wanting to re-record this but haven’t had time. The second to last stanza has been bugging me. Oh well!

      Thanks Robert! Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

      • You’re welcome! Ha, I know exactly what you mean. I do the same thing. Sometimes we are our own worst critic. I think you did great :) And thank you, hope the same for you!

  5. Ye, I got to read your poems again!! It is a great pleasure to read this one and listen to your reading!! You are awesome, and thank you so much for sharing your talent of writing and amusing thoughts!!!

    • Aww, you are so kind! I’m glad you liked this. I really wrote it out of a moment of frustration when I was finding writing poetry hard. I *do* love writing it, though.

      It is always nice to hear from you!!!

  6. Very nice Jess, the words and flow of what you say in incredible…also made so much better (and easier) with your voice, like I mentioned before it really is nice to hear your cadence while thinking about the words. Beautiful.

    • I’m glad you liked this one, Randy. I really like the first two stanzas. I’m with you, though — I like the next poem about a “simple life” even better. And yes, I too feel the recorded version of the poems. Poetry is meant to be heard as much as read!

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