So many years
went by when I
didn’t write a word.
Half-finished novels
stuck in exposition.
Protagonists just
setting off on a
hero’s journey,
frozen in mid-stride.

Poems written on scraps
tucked into notebooks
piled in boxes
stacked in a closet.
Epic tales told
in snippets.
Odes to odes.
16-syllable haiku.
13-line sonnets.

Songs, short stories,
essays, comedy routines.
Journals filled for
20 pages,
or 30,
then abandoned,
the thread
picked up later
in another journal.
Eleven journals
covering thirty years,
each with a month here
and a month there
from disconnected years.
A life, cross-indexed. 

But I was busy
teaching people
how to write. 

And when I would come home
from this noble endeavor,
I paid the mortgage and
kept the lights on
and bought the kibble
and gardened
and watched sunsets
from the porch
with you.  

It was this hero’s journey,
a living poetry.
Story after story
I finished.
Whole chapters
on which I
closed whole

I don’t regret
abandoned manuscripts.
I would, however,
regret missing
a sunset
on the porch
with you.  

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

Feigning Sleep

This morning, just after I woke up and just before I admitted that fact to the world, I daydream fantasized a poem.   I was in an old house, but it was light and airy.  Big wooden windows opened by breaking a paint seal.  Dust motes swimming, diving and rising as the calico’s tail creates a stir from the sill.  Hardwood floors.  High ceilings.  Mismatched furniture.  Desk from a yard sale.  Couch handed down from somebody I don’t remember.  Plastic crates stolen from Purity Dairy holding books, tapes, . . . actual albums.

I see it, hear it, taste it.  I remember it so well, and yet it is no specific place I have ever been.  Rather, this is the vision that remains from long ago feelings.

It’s a rental.  Upstairs a struggling musician lives with his girlfriend.  He’s a bass player, thank god, not a drummer.  The back screen door has a wire coil pulling it shut.  Back porch a slab of concrete with four steps down to the yard, a patchwork quilt of grass, weeds, and bare earth.   Grass has a hard time growing under the constant shade of such big old trees.

I feel it.  It is a house of youthful hope and ancient desire.  It holds a memory of simplicity unappreciated in its time.  It was a place I think I might have been once in the 80s.

When the feeling has been explored, my poet’s mind begins to consider structure and rhythm.  I anticipate the writing by combining words and rolling them around in my mouth awhile like analyzing a vintage Cabernet.

The last line might be, “How could I ever want more?”

Then, finally, I rise from my bed, abandon my theta state wet dream, and turn once again to the world of work and worry.