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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