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I've never herded oxen, have you?

If you've never herded oxen,
the way through madness is
an unfolding thing, but
not necessarily so;

if you've never hugged a tree
you must have vampire eyes, drawing blood
from life and limb, but not
necessarily so.

If you've never been in love with love,
you've never climbed a mountain much
less Jacob's ladder, but not necessarily

if you thought passion was an ancient art,
you've never broken a mirror or petted a black
cat, dressed for success in your costume
and war paint, but not necessarily so.

If you have ever loved, you don't need memories,
you wouldn't want a second-hand emotion wrapped
up in Christmas paper, like presents waiting for little
people or the big sky, but
not necessarily so;

if you think a poem has to be written by a poet,
'tain't necessarily so. Just hold a thought long enough
to break through each and every serpentine wall and call it
illumination or insight from beyond the beyond and sing with Lennon
his "Imagine" song.

to love as if for the first time, as if for the last time.

Now count your oxen, see if one is missing after crossing the River Jordan on
your way to a new Jerusalem.

Last few words:
Editing stage: 


thoroughly enjoyed this excellent piece of writing!

"Death" is nonsense: what is there to die?
"Life"? How could " life" "die"? That is a contradiction
in terms. Can "light" become "darkness"?
"Light" can only cease to be apparent

Wei Wu Wei

Not necessarily so. I thought that would be your title here as you end your stanza with this line here. I never herded oxen but I know if my Magic was out on the fields he would bring them all home. Eh pretty good metaphorically spoken words here Anna Bella Mia:)

Imagine - John Lennon if he was here today what would he say and what would he be singing now.

to love as if for the first time, as if for the last time.

It doesn't get any better than that. Hello to you and Barry from Florida gal

Peace and Love

during the course of the meter workshop you said
"I just can't say anything worthwhile using one staid form."
"Maybe it's my Hungarian/German/English/Spanish/New Jersey ear"

but since then you have posted two poems with far more metrical value than you usually use. I'm quite chuffed to see it.

Love this poem, content and structure except the lines-
to love as if for the first time, as if for the last time.
which are both cliched and didactic, personally I would lose them altogether.

Neopoet Directors


Perhaps I've used them often enough in an internal rhyme scheme, and you just hadn't noticed before, Elfy.

Two sides to every coin.

About the line...whether or not it is borderline or exactly didactic and cliched, it stays. Why? I'll leave that to your heart.


Thank you JC, Lennie and Mona for reading. I think it's one of my finer moments. ;-)

author comment

no doubt it heightened the awareness of meter of everyone involved.

I didn't expect you to delete it. But why change it? Because it smacks of those revolting, 'inspirational', "please forward to everyone you know" emails like "dance like nobody's watching". That's why you could consider at least rephrasing it.

And it is didactic, like I said to Lennie, anything didactic in poetry makes me want to print it out, screw it up and shove it down the writer's throat.

Neopoet Directors

Ya know, Elfy, inspiration newly worded, seen & juxtaposed or retold for the 10001st time, is the very font from which poetry emerges. Mayhaps you might want to allow yourself to be in that space more often, wherever it may come from, including emails sent by well-meaning friends, or one fucking line in a poem!

You've become religious to yourself.

That's not becoming of an elf.


author comment

because it is a good way of saying something. And perhaps you are right, why bow to the cult of originality? Why bother trying? Why should I suggest that one line in your poem could be better?

Now the accusation that I have become a religion unto myself is deeply troubling. I won't react. I will think about it.

Keep your cliche. But tell me this. Do you welcome those "please forward this to everyone you know" 'inspirational' emails from well meaning people?

Neopoet Directors

I'm fortunate in that most folks that have my email know me and they don't send anything that somehow isn't something I may not have heard (I don't know every cliche'd story, blah blah blah, do you?) Additionally, they know when I respond, it's also a manner by/in which we stay in touch. Sometimes I even forget the ones I've read often enough and then it's welcome when I do receive them. I'm not jaded enough to say, oh shit, here's one of them damned feel good thingies.

Besides, being happy is a result of going with the flow rather than against it. I've learned to pick my battles.

One line of cliche does not a poem ruin.

I even have some cliches in my homes. Or is that kitsch?


author comment

leave it

Neopoet Directors

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