Gettin’ All Poetiky

Everyone tries to get all poetiky
Choosing words that clove and heave
And hang in awkward silence -
Metaphors, cryptic allusions,
Confounding phrases that sound suspiciously like
The creaking of an engine that needs a shot of oil.

But having stopped by these snowy woods
And fearful of feeling stupid for
Missing something sharp and prophetic
Hidden among the shadows and shifting boughs,
I turn a pine cone over in my hands,
Breathe in the bark and frozen earth,
Listen to the hushed conversation
Between wispy needle and groaning limb.

I study chipmunk tracks that disappear
Into the darkness and wonder
Are they really chipmunk tracks?
Or do they belong to some
Rough beast slouching?
Or a fire-fangled bird?
Or perhaps they are not tracks at all
But just the stirring of memory and
Desire in the dull roots?

Alas, I’ve many miles to go before I sleep
And whose ever woods these are,
Hung with chandeliers and prisms
And populated by flora and fauna with long Latin names…
They are better left to someone else.

Preferably someone with a PHD in the Classics
And a copy of the OED in their sled.

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