Poetry Thursday: utilitarian

worker loading sand onto conveyor belt

Poetry is not
the sole dominion
of hearts and flowers,
angst und drang,
misty, water-colored memories
or raging against the machine.

Poetry is an equal-opportunity
conveyor belt,
portable language
that works hard
in short bursts,
serving up energy
in small doses
like vitamins
or bouillon cubes:
there when you need it, 
handy, on the third shelf, in the back,
a quick hit
of inspiration
or instruction
or other non-necessary
vital nutrient.

Why not
a poem about math,
about naps,
about alternating current
or meditation?

Why not
a line
or two
or three hundred
about someone
you may never see again
or the way the light
hit the side of that brick wall
and carried you back
to your girlhood days
and the freedom
you forgot you had?

Why not
tell the world
in a way it might be ready
to hear
about hockey
or horticulture,
scissors or roping steers,
ice sculpting, sunscreen,
chemo, parcheesi
mountain rappelling,
database management,
composting, credit,
and how
to cut back on coffee?

Don't we all 
need waking up
in one way
or another?

Couldn't we all
use a lift 
from here to there
now and then?

Wouldn't it
be great
if you could grab a cab
or a train
or a bus
at any corner,
rain or shine,
to take you from where
you're stuck
right now,
to some place
you never knew existed
but is just
where you want
to be?

Is it all bottled up
for want of permission?


Here's what you do:
take the thing you know
and cook it down,
long and slow, steady-like,
or all at once, in a flash,
then serve it up
to the rest of us.

It doesn't have to be perfect:
it just has to be.

We're hungry,


Image by kenhodge13 via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.