This Is What I Do At Work…No, No, Seriously, This Is What I Do


Two poems in two days and I am riding high on this wave of sudden creativity.  I wrote this as I write a great many of my pieces which is to say in between getting yelled at by complete fucking idiots, so I am always pleasantly surprised that I can ever write anything at work other than “I must kill, I must kill, I must kill”.  This is one of my more introspective pieces, a lot more sparse than some of my more recent work and a great deal less rambling, more lean and to the bone, which is a nice change from the usual vomit of verbiage that spews forth from my pen.  Anyway, I hope this one finds its place in the growing cannon of my rantings and musings and that it will perhaps find a home with one of you, my devoted and clearly insane and taste impaired readers.  I do so love you all.  But enough foreplay, on with the group sex…er, I mean poetry.

Birds chase the leaden sky

Over sere fields of last year’s corn stubble

The whole world a sepia photograph of itself

Defined by shade as much as hue

Folded in upon itself, tucked in quietly and dreaming.

I watch the pinwheel, frantic swirling antics

Thin blue smoke streaming into the chill air

The season keeping me company

As my mind treads old paths well worn

In the yellow wood of my recollections.

Winter days in Illinois

Seem made for my melancholy

The corpses of nature left unburied

Everything in stasis, just the pause of breath

Between autumn’s dying and spring’s rebirth.

Deep down I long for clean white

The palimpsest of deep, silent snow

Covers of bone drawn in rolls and humps

A fresh sheet of parchment, pure and cold and bright,

The air clear and sharp as a knife

Where all thought is long and deep as the sleep

Of the dreaming earth.

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8 Responses to “This Is What I Do At Work…No, No, Seriously, This Is What I Do”

  1. Hey. I do the exact same thing at work. Welcome to the club.
    Also, your poem is pretty kick ass.
    Do you want your 9th line to read “treads” or “tread”?

    • Thanks for catching that actually, I was going for “treads” there rather than “tread”. I also like that you think it is kick ass, I have never had one of my poems called “kick ass” before and I rather like it 🙂

  2. mother2rah Says:

    while it can be interesting and fun to use obtuse words, think about whether the reader will be turned off by having to look up a word they stumble across; consider ‘tablet’ or ‘palette’ instead of palimpsest.

    a few revisions in the text below:

    Birds chase the leaden sky
    over withered fields – last year’s corn stubble.
    The whole world a sepia photograph of itself,
    defined by shade as much as hue,
    Folded in upon itself, tucked in quietly and dreaming.

    I watch the pinwheel; frantic swirling antics,
    Thin blue smoke streaming into the chill air
    The season keeping me company
    As my mind tramples old paths well worn
    In the yellow wood of my recollections.

    Winter days in Illinois
    Seem made for my melancholy
    The corpses of nature left unburied
    Everything in stasis, a pause of breath
    Between autumn’s dying – spring’s rebirth.

    Deep down I long for clean white,
    a palette of deep, silent snow
    Covers of bone drawn in rolls and humps
    A fresh sheet of parchment, pure and cold and bright,
    The air clear and sharp as a knife
    Where all thought is long and deep,
    the sleep of the dreaming earth.

    • While I will concede that my choice of words may be obscure in some cases, they are still the words that I wanted to use, that capture what I am wanting to say as I want to say it. If someone is turned off by having to put a little effort into a piece of poetry then maybe they would benefit from having to expand their vocabulary a bit. I have had to look up a great many words I didn’t know from both reading poetry and prose and I have never come out the worse for it as it gave me a deeper understanding of what that author was trying to say exactly. I do, as always greatly appreciate the feedback you give but on this I will have to disagree with you.

      • mother2rah Says:

        It’s about accessibility. I agree that your words are a window into what you as the author are trying to to say and as such as important as is. Just giving some feedback. (On a personal note, I enjoy learning new words and am only briefly annoyed by having to look up something new.) You write well. Write on…

      • I do appreciate the advice as any insight into process and craft is always valuable. I always like hearing what you think of my work and I have taken what you have said about some of my previous pieces and have incorporated it into how I think about composing the next one. I would also really appreciate anything you have to say about my last post, “Why I Believe In Faerie Tales” as well, as I really felt good about that piece but also feel that it is raw and needs some polish. Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond.

  3. the only line that caught my eye(ear) was this one which I offer here as an alternative. Folded in upon itself, tucked in quiet dreaming {because this way it builds an internal rhythm of syllables : hard soft/hard soft/hard soft/hard, hard soft/ hard soft/hard soft.
    also you might consider what it does to take out the “my” in front of melancholy. It then makes the melancholy of this winter more universal. Your 1st stanza is a universal; the second and fourth are personal. In this way 1st and 3rd stanzas would be universal thoughts which stir a more personal observation in 2nd and 4th.
    or not

    • I was a little uncertain about the “my” in that line actually, so with a second opinion on the matter I will take that one out. I will review the other suggestion and see how it plays in my head when I re-read the whole piece. I always value anything you have to say and I appreciate it very much that you take the time, thank you.

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