Failed Poem (No. 1, Nature Walk)

I’m going to post a failed poem, but I think I should introduce this with a short word about my process.  In general, when I have an idea for a poem, I mull it over, then forgot it.  If it comes back two or three times more, I start thinking about writing it down.  The first few lines are usually written in my head, and I play around with the rhythm a bit.  The kind of lines I’ll use gets some thought too.  After writing it down, the poem is usually pretty different from the way I thought about it, but it will get a few revisions.  If I like it after a week or two, I’ll keep going if it doesn’t feel finished, or it gets plopped into a “Staging Area” file to let it ferment for a few days.  It may get a final polish in there before getting sent to the “Portfolio” file to be sent out for submissions.  The rest sit around in the “Sketch Book” and occasionally get revisited.  Sometimes I just get to the end and it’s not what I want, so I just give up.  Doesn’t sound promising, does it?

Anyway, I was looking in the sketch book and saw a few that aren’t going anywhere because I’ve hit a wall.  If you read it and have an idea for me, let me know.


Nature Walk

Finished the Battle Road,
late September
taking more than a year,
w/ each visit, parking a little farther
walking a little backwards,
a little forwards.
From gravel path to gravel road
to wooden walks to
fake wood recycled plastic planks.

Today, echelons of geese fly.
Amid the flap of wings, she says,
“Can you hear the boring
and cold”
remembering the walks with her father,
going ten feet
to look at the geese
before going another ten feet more.

She shushes me—
little yellow bird
hiding a bush—
flitting from branch
to branch,
emerging slowly
from the bush
from the shadows.
A goldfinch?`A warbler?
I don’t know.
She whispers, “Should have
brought our bird-noculars.
But we’re not playing

At home, I sit with the field guide
limply across my lap
wondering who was our friend
who at the end of the trail.

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