I Wonder What I Don’t Get

Here’s what puzzles me sometimes.
I’ll take the time to listen to a line or two in my head
Like a bulletin from somewhere about something
Smarter people than me call insight
And it will lead me to waste an afternoon
Writing down things on my yellow pad.

First I’ll stick to the neat blue lines.
I’ll even count syllables and read them
Back to myself ticking them off on my fingers,
Or tapping out a beat as I go.
Switching words. Throwing some away.
I’ll check the dictionary and thesaurus
If I can find them or remember where
In God’s holy name I last put them.

The page soon loses all sense of order
As lines and half lines of words get scrawled
Until it looks like a dryer full of wet wash
Or better yet like the tracks of shore birds
Searching for mollusks in the sand at low tide.

This I call working it out.
I’ve taken to walking away
for an hour or two, a day
or longer hoping somehow
I’d remember tomorrow
what it was that had to be said.
Take this last one I just did.

It took me some while to do
And I’m still not sure it’s through
With being written.  I think of it
When I read it over that something’s not there
Though for the life of me I don’t know what
That might be.  My wife said I should try prayer,
And, well, I have.  Then I hear stuff from friends
Who say everything from “Nice” to “Best yet”
About it and I wonder what I don’t get.

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6 responses to “I Wonder What I Don’t Get

  1. when we speak from the heart, it becomes so clear and is transformed into a beautiful prayer. Bravo! Peter!

  2. Your poems ARE your prayers.

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever seen you write. It is truly a writer’s poem.

    STANDING APPLAUSE!!!

    • Dear RG, Why, bless you. I hardly have the feeling I am praying, however; in the sense that I am “lifting my mind and heart to God.” What appears most bovious to me is a sense of frustration and helplessness. I like “bovious”, cow-like, stupid, lumbering, simple minded, not knowing enough to come in out of the rain. I think I just made up a word.

  3. I like bovious too. Kind of the obvious way to be. But then I like sitting there in the rain sometimes, as well.

    and I really like this poem. Quite outstanding! Indeed, I’m pretty sure you’ve been watching me, counting on my fingers, huffing, stretching a line, squishing the one after… well I never!!

    • Thank you, Alys. I have a feeling that I would very much enjoy simply watching you, and know one or two others who probably feel the same way, too. With a delightful cup of tea, of course.

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