Living in a poem is rent free


Lament of the Urban Poet

It's hard to make things rhyme
When you're running short of time
And you cannot seem to get your thoughts on paper.

No matter if you could
You still wonder if you should
Or if you'd best find a less indulgent caper.

But you try to relax
Cut the TV, phone and fax
Play your favourite instrumental, light a taper.

Put your mind to the chore ...
When a knock upon the door
Makes the brewing verse just disappear like vapour.

Heidi Ross

Living in a poem

For BL

Living in a poem is rent free
Its lease is eternal
Save a stanza or two

Poems with north facing windows
Warm as decent childhoods
May overheat without warning

Verse apartments near parks
Offer tall trees and summer parties
But the daylight is complicated
By the untraceable histories of dapples

In the poem where you live
Passenger balloons ripen
Like apricots at first sun

This poem is inhabited
By bakers of real cream matchsticks
And fruiterers who convert pessimists with reggae smiles

Your poem shares espresso, verandas and amici
It offers haiku brandy for clarity
Casual iambic measure for strolling
Then limericks to lighten future composition

This poem you live in is abstract like time
Measured or chaotic, it has rhythm,
Is constantly recomposed

Not tied to bricks and mortar
There are no contracts
Enhancements are encouraged

Your poem, as described, is wholly portable
It may be taken from residence to residence
Without undue disruption
And — as the price of fixed dwellings soar around you —
Your poem does not charge rent

Margaret McCarthy

Heidi Ross Heidi Ross writes in a variety of genres, mostly non-fiction. She often returns to poetry to refresh her love of language. She is a librarian in Western Australia.


Margaret McCarthyMargaret McCarthy is a Melbourne-based creative writer. She teaches creative writing, English construction for writers and professional editing skills.



Topic tags: Lament of the Urban Poet, Heidi Ross, Living in a poem, Margaret McCarthy, australian poetry



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Existing comments

'...the untraceable histories of dapples...' is just ace, Margaret. I'm Manley Hopkins mad with envy.
PS Cottier | 20 May 2008

A lovely, whimsical poem, Margaret. I love the words 'haiku brandy'. And the idea that a poem is rent free.
Cathy Altmann | 20 May 2008

Heidi, it's not only in the city: In the country, more's the pity. Neither streams nor poetry flow.

I liked your verse, thanks.
Pat Sheahan | 20 May 2008

How awesome poem it is! I understand it, and it moved my heart. Poem does not charge rent!
Jieun | 20 May 2008

I'm the BL in the poem - you can't imagine where this poem has been already and the outbreak of delight which is following it.
More poems please.
bruno | 21 May 2008

'North facing windows' and 'real cream matchsticks'

Thanks Margaret, I loved your truly delicious, rent free poem.
Gerry | 22 May 2008

Margaret, Loved it! I have not taken the time to read poetry lately but now I shall and hopefully feel as excited about 'words' as when I read your poem.
joanne tarpey | 27 June 2008

Such delicious words. Tis a delight to read words that bring comfort and truth.
Steph GT | 03 July 2008

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