The poem is sparked by a phrase, half-heard on television,
An image, song, or memory I barely can envision;
I pour a cup of coffee, and immediately forget it;
Other things are on my mind, and I will never let it
Be said that I'd ignore important chores I have today,
By fiddling with a wispy thought, or express it in a way
Requiring a scrap of paper, and a pen, but I write it down
Before it fades and loses color, texture, weight, and sound.
The day goes by quite pleasantly, I've hardly given thought
To whether I should write at all; how a picture might be caught
To crystalize the niggling something that I feel, and then
It rushes right on back to me, and I retrieve my pen,
Begin my writing earnestly, and focus on the mood
Of what I want to seize, and limn its attitude.
The hours fly, I concentrate on rhythm, rhyme and stress;
At first I choose words carelessly, but try to pick the best.
At last, the poem is finished, and it seems to be complete;
I walk away and let it age; I know from past defeat
That time will make me change my mind, frustrating what I seek;
The perfect word or artful phrase, which nuances to tweak.
Because perceptions change, the poem will never satisfy;
Ten years from now, or twenty, something wrong will catch my eye,
And make me choose new words and rhymes to change my verse.
How I write my poems is both a blessing, and a curse.