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unstructured

i waited all month for this column to zap me with a bolt of inspiration as they're apt to do until i had nearly despaired with three days left in june

 

as luck or fate would have it the theme snuck up furtively and i was thinking about it before i even knew that it was the theme of my next poetry column

 

pretty sneaky if you ask me

 

but there it was inside my head at the usual inopportune moment

 

the words that occurred fled and I found myself at my desk typing a description of the event like an aftermath or afterword only it isn't

 

it's more of a beginning

 

this is my first column that hasn't been crammed inside my volume of verse 'poetic reflections keep the heart of a child'

 

the only thing I managed to retrieve from that rushent gush of lines in one ear and out the other whispered by my muse was a single term

 

unstructured

 

which is the theme of course

 

so i now have to stare at the word and contemplate why it's here

 

what it's doing on my page

 

i assume it has something to do with the abandonment of structure

 

wow that is really brilliant even for me

 

it's also very different for me because i tend to be a stickler for structure and adore things like paragraph indents and punctuation and capitalization yet here i am typing without the aid of those conventions which feels incredibly brave and reckless

 

not to mention slightly peculiar

 

not that there's anything wrong with peculiarity because i rather enjoy being peculiar myself as you must know if you've read any of my more peculiar poems

 

but this truly is a stretch since i am a big fan of accuracy and correctitude when it comes to particular aspects of language and writing

 

other aspects i just toss out the window

 

it's especially difficult for me to type the pronoun i without hitting shift

 

yes that takes tremendous willpower

 

eccentric a writer though i am i do cling to certain traditions as you can see since i have not been able to bring myself to let go of the apostrophe

 

i just can't seem to pry it from my feeble grasp

 

oh well at least i'm doing fairly well for a scribbler as bound to the tools of writing while breaking most of the rules

 

and here i am shattering some more

 

look ma no hands i'm typing with my feet

 

okay not actually

 

i can't lift my legs that high

 

and i still can't recall the words i was supposed to write

 

i am left with one profound thought in my head with which to compose a poem

 

it's a good thing my volume of verse is already being released or i'd have probably stuffed this into it too

 

no no that's not appropriate for a poem so i must think of another profound thought

 

it's tougher than i thought

 

i'm sure i had some earlier

 

oh well as usual i must pen my next poem without a single thought in my head

 

at least that hasn't changed

 

great now i'm getting deja vu as if i don't have enough to deal with

 

it's so creepy i'll just have to write a poem about it

 

    unstructured

 

how does one communicate

with only words to use

no question marks or commas

is likely to confuse

and yet some poets manage

errant writers do as well

for me it's very hard you see

but at least i can still spell

i won't give up apostrophes

and spaces between terms

i shun the lack of paragraphs

as much as i hate germs

yet here i am composing

in verse and also rhyme

if i release my inhibitions

it wouldn't be a crime

to let my spirit free

unleash my fuddydud restraint

set inner beasties loose and wild

i feel a little faint

somewhere it has to end

it's getting too informal

without a dot to punctuate

how can my thoughts be normal

i don't know where it's going

it's running quite away

i'm hanging on to what i can

of this swervent come what may

if i ever find my style again

i will be more cautious after

not to take such risks or if i do

i will have to face the laughter

yet isn't that what i'm about

stepping out upon a limb

i like to tread where ice is frail

the ledge narrow as a whim

i prefer to challenge not accept

experiment and improvise

to try new things at least for me

incorporate surprise

or else creativeness could turn

prosaic moldy witless stale

i guess i'll keep exploring

there's more than one right trail

 

 

    the broken dawn

 

an indescribable thing occurred

like the silence in a yawn

an awakening of my soul

at the breakening of dawn

 

right on that ecliptic precipice

the instant morning splits from night

i poised for just a second

on the edge of dark and light

 

it's a fine line that we seldom glimpse

in a glance or in a stare

we can't touch it with a fingertip

for it almost isn't there

 

as i stood inside a tornado

the unblinking eye of a hurricane

air furiously hurled around me

yet all was frozen calm and sane

 

things pass before us every day

too swift for consciousness to grip

we cross such lines without a thought

until our step should slip

 

and we falter in that space between

out of balance gone too soon

far too fleet to even ponder

if we hear an eerie tune

 

next time i'll take a picture

so i'll know that i was in

the middle of the broken dawn

where the day is very thin

 

even slimmer than the break of dusk

when afternoon melts to sunset

more startling is the change of guard

when the rays arise from jet

 

as my eyes adjusted black to white

at the glare of mornful contrast

something wept in me for I could see

the division of present and past

 

in that tweenfold glean i understood

what such moments represent

a chance to pause on the verge of day

and rethink what life once meant

 

 

    deja vu

 

a tingling suspicion

the sense of the familiar

a nagging supposition

that something new has been

like a speculative impulse

ringing in your head

you can't shake this feeling

whether subtle or strong

that you've seen this scene before

 

it can flatten me like a boulder

without a warning rumble

or touch me like a feather

as fuzzy as cotton fluff

it may be light as a distant memory

or firmer than a solid wall

it might land on my head like an albatross

or worm its way inside my brain

and nest between my ears

 

sometimes it doesn't go away

if i run it simply follows

i detect its footstep close behind

with an echo of similarity

i could jump into a lake and wait

my breath held tightly in my lungs

but that vexful pest would not be fooled

by tactic or diversion

like a swarm of bees it lingers

 

deja vu i am so tired of you

go plague some other mind

i'd like for once to not seem in a dream

or as if i'm psychically attuned

why must i think that what's happening

is from the future or heaven sent

why ask myself time and time again

if this already was or it wasn't

it would be really nice not to know

 

 

    a walk through random places

 

soft respectful treads

the footfalls of a wanderous heart

without a destination

without a place to start

a stir of leafen boughs

the whisper of a breeze

and rustle of my clothing

i am grateful for all these

a dip or slant ahead

the mystery of an unpaved lane

a glint of sun across my journey

i cannot complain

do i blaze a trail

or trail behind

am i leading the way

or being led to find

greener fields unfurrowed plains

another place another day

a scattered promise to the wind

the randomness of where to stay

an undecided morrow

a restlessness inside

the yearning ache of something more

of what is left untried

where will my stumbling gait lead to

i cannot see that far

i am following the path i'm on

as i pen my life's memoir

when i'm there perhaps i'll know

or perhaps i never will

it's the steps that truly matter

whether up or down the hill

there is no highest point

only steps along the hill

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