I’ve heard it said by those who know
The way the lives of poets go,
That certain commonalities
Are shared by all thus predisposed.
A roll-top desk, of oak, no less,
Supposed to be the very best
For helping inspiration flow
To writers over verse obsessed.
A soft, upholstered, swivel chair
To rest a thinker’s derriere,
Upon its back an Afghan rests
Should chilling winters find him there.
An old grandfather keeping time,
With hourly, reminding chimes,
The rhythm of his tick-tock paired
In perfect monometer rhymes.
A fireplace swelled with fresh-cut wood,
With andiron, broom and bellows stood
Against its brickwork side-by-side
Built only as skilled masons would.
Its mantel rich with treasures graced
Where sentimental things are placed,
A hand-carved ship seems like it could
On flame-tips never be outraced.
A window on an eastern wall
Through which to gaze upon it all,
The woods for which he chose this place
And stream’s cascading waterfall.
The sill beneath the window holds
Some amber and blue bottles old,
To one whose meter there unfolds.
An Amish quilt, the heirloom kind,
With care hung on the wall behind
An antique, wooden, spinning globe,
Its nomenclature maritime.
A well-worn trunk built to withstand
Arduous trips to foreign lands,
Its brassbound trim retains the shine
From use by his well-traveled hands.
Pre-Columbian native masks,
Through ancient, hollow eyes stare back
As though their makers’ spirits planned
Eternal lives as brick-a-brac.
In varied genres works abound
With gilded covers leather bound,
You’ll find no literary chaff,
These volumes all are world renowned.
And framed amidst what space remains,
A ship in tossing tempest strains,
Upon the desktop can be found
Bifocals sleepless nights obtained.
Although I would a poet be
I stand possessing none of these,
So toward some other course I’ll train,
For words are all I have, you see.
© 1993 – Bill Weiss