An Apologia for Poesy
My gardener’s broom goes whisking light
first left, then right, then left, then right
with touch so slight I barely hear
the bristles as they take their bite.
The birds were first up and about,
and then both dogs asked to get out.
Then that broom reminded me
of one more creature left to rout.
I stir myself to go and pee,
then check the new prompt left for me
on NapoWriMo’s daily page.
Until it’s written, I’m not free.
It’s back to bed, I find it best
to go, computer on my chest,
typing words with beat and rhyme
still ensconced in my morning nest.
Searching for ideas and words,
I use the rhythm of the birds
and Pasiano’s sweeping broom
the braying burro, the bleating herds.
Noises fill this busy world
even as I’m safely curled
still abed, my senses all
alert and ready, full unfurled.
I hear the grackle far above,
the insistent cooing of a dove,
as in the kitchen, Yolanda dons
her apron and her rubber glove.
I hear the water’s swirl and flush
the busy whipping of her brush
around each glass I might have left,
careless in my bedtime rush.
Her string mop silent, I barely know
if she’s still here. Or did she go?
I find her in the kitchen still,
arranging glasses, row on row.
It’s back to bed again I trot.
Arranging glasses I am not,
but rather words I nudge and shift
here and there until they’re caught.
Glued to the page forever more––
be they rich words, be they poor––
nevertheless, these words are mine:
poems, stories, truth or lore.
We are not slothful, lazy, weak
because it’s words we choose to seek
instead of labors more obvious
like plumber or computer geek.
Words’ labors are most harrowing.
Our choice of them needs narrowing
and not unlike the farmer’s sow,
mind’s riches we are farrowing.
So blame us not if others mop
our houses or they trim and crop
our gardens for us as we write.
From morn till night, we never stop.
‘Tis April and we have this chore:
each day a poem, and what’s more
we never know till the morning’s light
just what theme they have in store.
Poets, our lives may seem effete––
not much time spent on our feet––
but those feet are busy, still,
tapping out our poem’s beat.
Cerebral though our work may be,
we are not lazy, you and me,
for though we lie in bed all day,
our writing’s labored––that’s plain to see!
Today’s prompt was to write a ruba’I, a Persian form comprised of a four-line stanza with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening uses this rhyme scheme. Multiple stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.