A poem caged rather than free
sits behind bars made of meter
chained with rhyme by the word seeker
who wants lines to march perfectly.
Who wants lines to perfectly march
like armies work to starch their men
in ranks and files they do condemn
them to a foolish heedless charge.
A foolish heedless charge by men
may be more natural than words
shoved together in four-line herds
by some poet’s sharp cruel pen.
Some poet’s sharp and cruel pen
is out there and wandering loose
waiting to ruin someone’s youth
with rhyme and meter once again.
Rhyme and meter once again speak
to me and I gladly listen
still knowing poetry’s fearsome
reputation for self-deceit.
Reputation for self-deceit
is what bad poetry begets
while one’s fondest hopes and regrets
wallow around and through conceit.
Wallowing through and round conceit
while pouring verses from the heart
will be the end before the start
as the art of good verse is bleak.