Poems by Margo Waring


From the poet: I appreciate the opportunity to share three poems on the topic of “why write.” In my case, poems about the difficulty of finding time for writing. The last of the three poems is about the kind of reception I would love to have for what I have written.


Poet’s Lament

In winter
darkness seeps
into words
and snow slows sentences.

Spring is an earthquake,
shaking winter lethargy.
Words tumble off shelves
in disorder.

Summer calls me out
to pick wild strawberries,
to plant and harvest for winter
No time to cultivate words.

In fall the dying light
shrivels words,
before they grow.

Perhaps the equinox .
Balanced time of light and dark,
ripe for picking up a pen and
growing a poem.


When To Write a Poem

When your house becomes impassable–
drifts of unfolded laundry
furrows of dust and dog fur
stacks of too tight jeans
half finished sewing projects
dusty books read and to be read
droppings left by mice undetected by the cat
pots of lettuce nipped by frost;

While you went to vigils
wrote letters to the editor
cried for climate
grieved the death of friends
struggled with political news
harvested peas and kale
considered family medical history
of disease and dementia
snapped at those you love
neglected caring friends
spent days on Facebook until
in the kitchen mess
you cannot find a clean fry pan
and eating out seems reasonable;

Then when the house is impassable,
it’s time to walk the autumn trail
strewn with final scarlet leaves,
sit on a blanket and watch
ducks readying for winter,
pick up a pen, write a poem.


Envy at a Poetry Reading

I want a fan like her
when my turn comes to read.
Sitting in front of me, listens as her
poet reads. She claps,
arms in the air stirring sound waves,
palms and fingers spread to
sweep excitement. She cheers.
Three whoops in succession
pitched deep from her belly. Yea. Yea. Yea.
Then a line she approves,
head back, chin raised, long hair flying,
laughter and more applause.

I, behind, elbows tucked in,
as I was taught. Palms
cupped traversing a small arc.
Face calm.
I want to have a fan like her;
be a fan like her.

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