The Old Poet

The old poet
behind a desk
reading aloud
from Frost.
Behind him,
a bookcase
filled with
others’ poems
and a few of his own.

Above the bookcase,
a specimen drawing
of a bluegill.
On top of the bookcase,
between books stacked
and waiting for
a permanent home,
a large feather,
turkey or hawk,
in a mug for soup
long ago surrendered
to pens and feathers.

An Hermes 3000
to his left,
bought new in the sixties,
a well-traveled machine
that has seen Paris,
London, and an
entire season on the
Costa del Sol,
though mostly
untouched then
while the poet
pursued belleza
and drank.

And a shovel,
its handle
propped in the corner
made by the bookcase
and the wall,
waiting to spread
manure or dig
potatoes or take
a side gig as
walking stick
when the reading
ends and the work
of the land
carries on.

The old poet
looks up from
the worn book in
his worn hands
to push the final
words through his
soft stubbled lips.
He closes the book,
assigns reading,
and bids farewell.
A bent finger
clicks the mouse,
and his students

© 2020 Deb Moore,  All Rights Reserved


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

100 Novels

100 novels live inside me.

Some I write as poems because I get bored quickly.

Some have a natural hook and a dance beat. They become songs.

A few bloom into a full plot, character sketches, random baubles of backstory.


I finished two.

One lives in a black hole in cyberspace.

The other lives in my memory and on a five-and-a-quarter inch floppy disk.

Both corrupted storage media.


Sometimes, rarely, a novel will arrive in a sense of fullness,

a complete glorious narrative waiting for the telling.

And there it recluses, known only in the flash of my firefly attention.


But what a concept.

What an ending.