There’s no point trying to reply to you in words,
You wrote them, you taught them how to have meaning.
I can only reply with my eyes that you make glow like
The embers of underwater volcanoes
Erupting to build new islands on the strength of your words
Because when I hear your voice I can re-imagine geography
As a shifting map of where we’re going and where we’ve been
And I track plate tectonics knowing
Your voice will always lead me back to the place where our continents collide
Because your words have anchors in my heart
And the tethers that stretch from you to me are my proof
That no man is an island and instead I stand
Like a mountain range at your back,
The place where granite stops to lean when it gets tired,
The place where no flood from our world’s tears, no unstoppable deluge of fears
Can drown the olive branch I hold out so you know
It’s always safe for you to moor here.
I want to be the harbour your words sail home to
When they’re weary from leading expeditions back to truth,
To the place where words have meaning.

I don’t see you with clay feet;
Instead, like continents our bodies are built in layers,
Like river beds they run with silt and sand and are forever changing,
And when we touch they bend, they clash, they combine
And like deltas we carve new channels between us –
New rivers running out of me towards the source of your words.
What I want to say is I’m here for you
But when you’re not here my eyes can’t strive to send that message to you.
When all I have is paper, then all I have are these words and
Like I said,
There’s no point trying to reply to you in words,
You wrote them, you taught them how to have meaning,
So when I try to send them back to you it’s like
Ten year olds playing telephone, the words just don’t hit home –
They run into one another and have a collective crisis of identity
And I don’t want to do that to your words,
I want to stoke them like embers so they dare to become fires
I want them to have wings so they can carry you
So you can rain down words upon us
And write us, and show us how to have meaning again –
How to use words and finally mean them
So all of our diction is dependent on conviction
And our words stand out like lightening rods – not afraid of bolts of brilliance
Because underneath the exit signs from the catacombs of ignorance,
Your words hold open the door.

And even when you’re silent,
When your words don’t fill the air between us anymore,
My eyes will still say I’m here
And my hand will be that harbour where you can anchor and find
A moment of stillness on the turbulent sea of words
And you can lean on me and in that moment
See my eyes say I’m here
And if words have left you weary and you need
Someone to hold you sometimes, don’t fear
Because even though I can’t reply in words, I’m near and even
Without words, you can see what you mean to me
And my eyes will say I love you
And mean it when my words can’t.

I love you like synonyms are like many other things.
My heart and this hypozeugma to you I give.
I miss you like an overlooked coordinating conjunction.
And the mis-spelling of phoux paz.
I want you like Amphibrachys want; to step in Iambic.
Without you my haiku ends with "Hepaticocholangiocholecystenterostomies".
I love you even though you probably won’t find this all that funny,
But how else should one express love for a poet?

On the reasons why this should remain part of the database as its rep slowly descends toward, and in all likelihood beneath, zero.

Firstly I would like to say that it is not a serious poem. I do not believe that poetry has to be serious or even say anything important. See Serengeti for another example of this ethos. That said, poems should be well written and have a solid grounding concept that can be revealed through careful study. This does.

In the presiding poem I was assuming a persona other than my own. In effect it was not me writing the poem. I am not in love with a poet and I would never normally try to get Hepaticocholangiocholecystenterostomies in a haiku (or indeed any poem). The assumed narrator however would. He (or she but I envisioned a he) is someone who has learned all about poetry – perhaps in an attempt to impress his beloved, but does not know how to write poetry. This is explained in the last line, “But how else should one express love for a poet”

However it is not enough just to write a “bad” poem to make a point. I have put clues in the poem to relate to an observant reader that I took time to carefully craft it.

For example the first part of the line "I want you like Amphibrachys want;" is written in amphibrachys, (one of the most difficult metrical forms) whereas after the semicolon it falls into iambic rhythm. “to step in Iambic.”

You can not do this accidentally.

The poem is effectively about breaking the rules of poetry while showing that I am aware of those rules. However I am not just breaking the rules for the sake of it, by breaking the rules I reinforce the characters and the situation in the poem.

The writer is aware that his writing needs the poetic touch. It is as much as a call for assistance as it is for love. (Is that not what all the most enduring relationships consist of?) Taking a step away from a literal interpretation of the situation you can even conceive that the assumed narrator is writing a love poem to poetry itself. Perhaps even the classical anthropomorphic muse of poetry.

On a more intellectual note you could even consider it an oblique criticism of the traditional processes of poetic interpretation and assessment, which I am ironically using to justify the same poem here. The idea that learning about poetry – particularly the names for rhythms and obscure grammatical constructions – with only the purpose of criticising poetry is futile and foolish.

I feel that within 8 lines you genuinely get an idea of the personality writing the poem and the personality of the person it is intended to be read by. And its funny.

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