Monday, June 14, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Dear Reader

Dear reader

I am afraid

That the act of writing a poem

Might force me to take a position

Or make a confession

Or both

I know that I should avoid

Adopting a stance

I may regret later

In a world transformed

By the scurrilous germination

Of early spring

Or some new fashion

Oh reader

How I wish

We could simply go there together

Without all this language and paper

And geographical space

Between us

Forget poetry altogether

And take our clothes off

I don’t want to write a poem

To avoid having to make a decision

There is a time for writing a poem

And a time for mowing the lawn

I don’t want to write a petition

Or to pamphleteer on the pavement

Like one of those earnest, hard-working

Well-intentioned people

That nobody likes

No unnecessary paperwork, please!

Dearest reader

I must confess

I am afraid

To be here in my poem

At all

All I have to offer

Are some minor details of August:


The huddled masses in retreat

Songbirds celebrating the concrete-coloured sky

Cameron Birnie

(Another poem by my son - thanks cam.)


  1. Ah the clever lad, I mean man. Your son, P. And I get that fear — to make a blog posting, or even a comment. Here now, for all time! Love, P.

  2. Wonderful poem, Pam.

    I could not stop. It drew me in, it held me close. And the ending is as alluring as its opening and its middle.

    Resonant and evocative, extraordinary for a poem that is also a sort of non-poem. Wow.

  3. oh, fun, forget poetry and take off our clothes...
    wouldn't that be a nice world... if poetry just means taking a stance and not exploring something seen...
    thanks for this...

  4. Love it! It has a voice and humour and says so much - a step at a time. It walks down the page - it's a conversation while walking. Love it! Thanks Cam. Thanks Pam.