April 2022 Poem 14

Catching up has been more challenging than I expected, with conflicting demands on my time, and recovering from the arm surgery. So, rather than stress and fret to match the daily prompts, I am going to use the occasional poem if I write one, outside that constraint.

Last night at a reading, someone mentioned thinking poetry was something written by dead white men. I sometimes have a quirky sense of humour, and it struck me that writing while, or after, you are dead, might be a rather unattainable goal. I mean, you’re dead, right? That led to this:

Dead Men Don’t Write

poems, or anything else, I suppose—

not about clouds, nor daffodils, nor

the slick silver fish that takes the bait

and flips off the hook, then flips his tail

and disappears below the river’s surface.


Dead men don’t write stories, though

there may be tales to tell about them,

rough and tumble tales, oh-my-gosh

that can’t be true stories, and ones

that go bump in the night.


Dead men don’t write memoirs,

yet their lives may have been filled

with adventure, fortune, perhaps fame.

Most just lie there, dead in their little plot,

the earth a dark cover above their last rest.


Dead men have lost any inclination,

any ability to hold a pen or tap a key.

Their stories have all unfolded, then

folded up again, a soft shroud around

their molder, there in the ground.

Carol A. Stephen

April 22, 2022

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