A Properly Manured Poem


Your poems are rich with narrative, he said,
as we leaned against the pick-up truck
after loading it with manure.
But, I think you could go deeper.
Too much narrative exhausts the reader—
poems lose fertility; no room to grow.

Here’s what I think you should do:

Take two forty-pound bags
of pulverized limestone and mix
into the steaming pile of narrative. 
This will help neutralize the acids
and bring the pH into balance.
You’ll find that this will provide
more substance for the reader;
a metaphorical base in which to grow.

Turn the pile every now and then.
The hay that’s in there is good;
the straw, not so great.
Turning produces a better blend,
and, when mixed into the poem’s soil,
will yield higher levels of lyrical quality.

A properly manured poem has warmth;
provides a richer bed for both the poet
and the reader.  Do this and you’ll get
ripe and juicy poems throughout the year.




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