I write essays. Poetry is not my natural medium. I admire people who write it often and well, but I am not one of them. Even so, every now and then, I manage to produce one. Many years ago I filled notebook after notebook with what was largely irredeemable garbage. This is one of the few I thought worth keeping. Once upon a time I might have called it Mad Boy's Love Song. Since I am neither of those things anymore, I will call it simply Villanelle. It isn't really, for reasons I have long forgotten, but it feels like one.
I dream I am an egg about to crack.
I tie myself with knotted bits of string
To hold myself together, front and back.
My shell is shattered into ragged shards
That somehow balance shakily on edge.
I tie myself with knotted bits of string.
But every time I move the tiny knots
Unravel, and I tie them up again
While elsewhere other parts begin to fray.
The broken shards of eggshell, razor sharp,
Each time I move, all rattle out of place,
And cut another strand of string away.
Yellow life-blood oozes at my seams.
The slippery cords begin to fall apart.
I tied myself with little bits of string,
A safety net that didn't mean a thing.
Depressing? Maybe, but we all have our moments, don't we? Though this poem no longer reflects my state of mind, I'm glad I kept it all the same. Perhaps we might all do well to remember a bit of advice a monk shared with me: Cheer up! It gets worse!