A word to the unwise

“We’ll know as children again all that we are
destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far”

~ Jim Harrison from Death Again

all ingénues should wise up quickly to the fast lane
be given provincial driving plates perhaps
let the hecklers and harassers pass us by
yet tenderfoots swerve into on-coming come-ons too
silver-tongued traps for fools catch as catch can
tangled up in words we barely comprehend
reciting conceits like catechisms

it really is pathetic – a hotch-potch of pathos
and a resounding slap in the face
tears are wasted though on those who dream
of elsewhere – the Eden grabbers
white-knuckled we cling on regardless
wilfully unwise to the ways the world
must, perforce, twist the banished into shape

For the Tuesday Platform, I’m resurrecting one from the drafts folder –
one that did not quite make the grade at June time with Jilly’s prompts of Harrison quotes


  1. That second stanza grabbed me and shook me into tiny sparks of hope and excitement. We poets, writers, artists and other creative bunch are simply not meant to follow the ways of the world. We are born to rebel! ❤️ Thank you for this incredible poem, Laura 😀


  2. Great roll and flow. “reciting conceits like catechisms” is amazing. I also really liked “the Eden grabbers” — very evocative and thought provoking.


  3. Indeed, a thoughtful and thought-provoking verse, as you delve into this scenario with a frankness that is required to address it. I feel a certain power as well as despair in these lines:
    “white-knuckled we cling on regardless
    wilfully unwise to the ways the world
    must, perforce, twist the banished into shape”


  4. Difficult indeed trying to be genuine in an eden-genuflected world, like chaffing bad wheat. Sometimes the best way to understand what we are is to shout at what we’re not.


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