If you were ever looking for the shortest poem that spoke the loudest, it might just be this one. The piece is one that is known by many – however, if this is your first time reading this poem, you surely won’t forget it.
Pound encompasses our fears in one, short stanza. Life is fleeting. Keats similarly touched upon the subject and it’s heavy and haunting; there’s just not enough time to complete our goals – whatever they are. Time escapes us. As poets, as writers, it’s a feeling too familiar that although there are thousands of ideas we have in our heads, it means nothing if it isn’t written down.
For me, this poem is the epitome of the wake-up call. Whatever it is you want to do in life, whatever it is you want to achieve, whatever it is you want to become, it requires work, it requires time, and you have to start right now. Turn off the television, put down the book, finish your pint. It motivates me in wanting to not only shake the grass but tear them up from the roots, salt the earth behind and let everyone know that Nesbit was here.
— — —
And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass
Often, we are all subject to desperately wanting to change something. Whether it be ourselves, our careers, our diets or the orange wallpaper surrounding us. We want to change so much that it burns us up inside, it torments us but, in human nature, sometimes we just don’t follow through. We put up with it, for the better or for the worse.
/u/dirtyLizard kindly allowed me to share his piece – I think it’s brilliant! It’s a poem that goes from 0 to 100 quickly, with a superb opening stanza that sends you right in. It’s got quite the kick to it, too, and provided fresh perspective as well as a chuckle. Very well written and I look forward to finding more from dirtyLizard! Enjoy!
Good thing I’m lazy right?
makes me want to pop my head open with a vice and pry bar
and play with the green and red wires in my skull until I can’t see orange anymore
or until my eyes explode.
Or I’ll go outside.
And I swear, if it doesn’t stop snowing on me I’ll get the biggest ladder I can find and burn the clouds down!
Then I’ll float there.
Something has to right?
And you may think I’m crazy,
but I’m not the one beating Jesus with a keyboard and microphone until his own mom couldn’t recognize him anymore.
But I digress.
Or I will.
When I’m done floating.
Which may take a while seeing as it’s comfy up here in the empty sky.
Feels a lot like my bed
and looks like my room.
The wallpaper’s coming back.
Maybe I should just paint over it this time… fucking orange.
But I’m tired from burning clouds and diffusing my eyes and what not.
I’ll do it tomorrow.
You hope to inhabit Byzantium.
It trumps the stone cottage, the green mossed walls,
Earl grey tea, cold biscuits, the morning news:
Your Scrabble friend just died shovelling snow.
You don’t know who to say goodbye to next.
Family is coupled with Christmas, they’ve
sat you down, had the talk, signed the papers.
“Who gets the cadillac? Who gets it, Dad?”
The soul would sing and clap and dance but the
Hands ache, holding onto the wooden cane
That supports the man ready to be earthed.
But I contest what the old poets taught.
This is a country for old men! They, the
Whiskey drinkers, hardened thinkers, who still
Share the load with Atlas, breaking their backs,
Shredding shoulder muscles, still weak and sore
From when they carried their kin to funfairs.
Pour gasoline onto the dying light!
You’ve got miles to go before you sleep!
There’s weight on those two trunkless legs of stone.
It’s a Darwinian body above,
Hardwired, ripe with age and character
And it breathes and it speaks and it’s writing.