Saturday, July 3, 2021

Writing a Poem

Too much planning
spoils any kind of writing.
You have to sift through vowels and consonants
as you would junk stored in a basement.

The moose head in the corner
will do for a start,
and why not throw in the rusted tricycle
since it hides under the stairs,

the third wheel never having gained
much self-esteem anyway?
An old oil panting of a storm-tossed ship,
a three-master struggling up the side of a wave,
shows courage and resiliency,

as if fighting the gloom and dust
of its voyage through the basement.
The spinning wheel is an enigma
since the chain-smoking females of the family

have never cared a whit for self-sufficiency
as much as bargain coupons from Rite Aid.
An old coffee grinder is trying to recall the days
when its wheel spun the household into wakefulness.

So it might go something like this:
Everyone wakes to coffee,
and the tyke rides his bike past the pickup truck
where Uncle Ed is unloading the moose head

after a hunting trip to the Northwest.
The lamp, converted from a spinning wheel,
illuminates Ship in a Storm,
which gives courage to all who look above the fireplace.

Or it may have been that my parents
went to yard sales when I was a child,
their business to save the memories of strangers
from the landfill at the edge of town.

~William Hammett

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