This Is Not a Poem

This is not a poem

Despite the rhyming and construction

This is what the critic says

Because it doesn’t follow the poem’s function

I have to show you the dilemma

You have to struggle to understand me

You have to encounter the limitations

Of what a “good poem” can and can’t be

Clever lines don’t make it poetry

Despite conveying my intention

Good poetry has to stick to the rules

And be the result of pure invention

Please don’t come with inspiration

Don’t express in your own style

Don’t emerge with your own cadence

March in step and single file

Try to sound like someone famous

Do not always write in rhyme


People cry for peace

Meanwhile they are dropping bombs

Dead men can’t start wars


I just dropped some haiku lines


But maybe that isn’t poetry

I’ll ask an expert. They will know.

Or maybe they just know what poems are not

“Iambic pentameter is the purest flow”

Truthfully it doesn’t matter

If it isn’t poetry, I’d still be writing

I’d just be calling it something else

And in its expression be delighting

Not simply because I wrote it

But because it’s emerging from Creation

Like a flower that offers fragrance

What I give’s my participation

Whether beautiful or ugly

Lyrically strong or suffering weakness

What I bring forth is what I’m called to give

From the Universe’s unlimited uniqueness

For if I don’t shine the light I’m given

I am a thief and what’s more a liar

And claiming that I am not received

Is no excuse for quenching fire

So call it what you will

I will do what I must do

My words may fail, but I won’t hold back

It might not be poetry, but it’s true


© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II


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