Tag Archives: poetry

A Meal Best Enjoyed Cold

It must have seemed good sense to drain the swamps,

The marshes, sloughs, and other secret places.

For surely they appeared to be land wasted

On snakes, sawgrass, and other useless things.

They would have missed the wonders hidden there,

The rich detritus feeding tiny creatures

Who became meals themselves to feed the larger

Creatures who were surely of no value.

How would they know the secrets of the wetlands?

Why, even if the people there had told them

What did they know, those bands of ragged stragglers,

All fugitives, and ignorant of progress?

Thus, everglades and swamps made way for suburbs,

Canals, toll roads and malls, airports and farmland.

Now all must vie for water become precious

Where once it seemed the wetlands stretched forever.

Professors prowl remains of once great systems

Describing remnants in scholastic volumes,

While Seminoles and Miccosukees get rich

Off gambling, booze and cigarettes for tourists.

ON POETRY (I thought I should try for a pretentious title; did I hit it?)

There have been twelve dozen dozens of books written about how to write poetry. I know that, because I read them all, and they were all gibberish to me. Frankly, I don’t know how to write poetry. I start writing, and sometimes it’s poetry, and sometimes prose, and sometimes poesy (whatever that is) and sometimes it doesn’t work out and I tear it up or delete, and start over or go birdwatching.

I took a class in poetry writing back in the long-ago. I learned nothing — or, if I did, I don’t remember it. All things considered nowadays, that’s probably it; I forgot whatever it was. Actually, that’s not true. I did learn one thing: Continue reading


Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be–
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
With a record of unreason seldome paralleled on earth.
While I looked he reared him solemnly, that incandescent youth,
From the coals that he’d preferred to the advantages of truth.
He cast his eyes about him and above him; then he wrote
On a slab of thin asbestos what I venture here to quote–
For I read it in the rose-light of the everlasting glow:
“Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow.”

Ambrose Bierce