Monday Poem

I learn to reap without violence
listen without taking; I yield —Lauren Turner, Poet

Learning How to Write a Poem

A time ago I thought, and
something said, Get out of the way, Jim
you’re occluding the sun
you make a mess of things
with your insistence
how do you expect a poem to come?
how do you expect a song to come?
how do you expect anything good to come?
how do you expect anything to breach
the dikes of yourself, to spin the hinges
of your gates, to split the mortar joints
you’ve pointed up so assiduously
laying brick upon brick year upon year?
Are you waiting for something else to come and
shatter or clean the panes of your casements
crusted with dust?

You stand there, a dumb dolomite, still
in a stream of love & pain which merely
splits itself, surging round, moving on
as if to say, you fool, come along,
this is the only stream there is with all its
joys and bereavements,

the only one there is—

come, learn, wait,
then speak

©Jim Culleny, 11/17/22