write the word thistle in a poem
it rhymes with whistle--
it's a weed...
Shouldn't poetry be about
big things. Things
that would break your heart.
Big save-the-world-things, political
things and noteworthy events we've
all heard about--
Shouldn't poetry suggest
an answer, to all the
questions in the world, the
cries of those enslaved,
the sick, the lost?
Shouldn't poetry have something
to say to them, a word, a rally cry for
us to shout in the cities,
a bit of banter for us
to quote as we pass one another
on the street?
Or is poetry more like a thistle--
growing by the side of the road--
numerous, slightly pretty, but
only useful to birds and jackasses
who eat it happily thinking
it tastes somewhat of pepper
and the dusky sun they
go on and on about each morning
as if they'd never seen it before.
Is poetry that annoying thing, that sticks
to your shoe lace, your sock, the back of your
legs. It won't let go. That overabundance
that fills pages of your journal
and the notebooks of old ladies, ministers,
punked out teens, lovers, and
angry girls dressed in goth?
Is poetry more like a thistle, something
that looks beautiful from afar, but
don't get to close-- it stings. It's
hard to grab ahold of. It's local, regional,
personal, stubborn, impossible, even
Someone told me I would be able
say whatever the heck
I want --if only I'd
accept mediocrity and the
fact that nothing lasts forever.
Maybe that is what a thistle is.
It's mediocre for a flower, surely--
it only lasts the summer,
but it says something loud
and sure with it's purple pop
of coif and it's spikes from
head to root.
How humble is a flower
who cannot be picked or
plucked, will not join
a bouquet--but feeds the
day after day, from fall
to winter, she stores a germ
of sunshine in her hidden
hand. When they sing--
she reveals her secret
beauty, a song.