What is Poetry

Poetry is art
Except when it’s not
Poetry is magic
Except when it’s not
Poetry is words
Except when it’s not
Poetry is ? ? ?
No one knows what it is
Because it’s not anything
Because it’s everything
Well that’s my story for now
But poetry and poets
We know they are real
Still how do you know
That I’m a poet
How do you know
That this is a poem
Even if I really am a poet
That does not mean this is a poem
Even if I tell you this is a poem
It still might not be a poem
Poets make mistakes
Poets tell lies
Poets make jokes
Indeed if I tell you
That this is not a poem
It still might actually be one
What if I’m wrong
What if I’m lying
What if I’m joking
It’s just like art
Is it valuable
Or even art
Or just junk
Pretending
To be art.
For that matter
Is poetry art
Depends on
How you define art
Depends on
How you define poetry
Or is it good art
Good poetry
How do you know
Do you even care
That’s what we know
Whether we care or not
Why should we care
About art or poetry
Should I tell you what to do
What to think
What to say
I’m not your teacher
I’m just a foolish poet
Throwing words on a page
Making sense and nonsense
To surprise and confuse
To open doors to – where?
Close doors to no where
There’s nothing to it
No matter never mind
Like a free association test
No fees to pay
No test to flunk
Its free, free, free
Free of everything
No association to join
Just throw mud on the walls
The walls of the mind
Walls of spirit and life
Makes no sense does it
Art is not about making sense
Art is not about plans for the future
Art is not about nutrition or survival
Art is, it just is.
It’s like a free form mirror
That changes every time we look
Every form and symbol in art
Changes meaning constantly
With out end
Always changing
As the old saying goes
You can’t step
In the same river twice
You change
And the river changes
Yet as the French
Are said to have said
The more things change
The more they remain the same
Clichés are a form of truth
Truth that changes
Truth that stays the same
Yes I know that this
This is going in circles
The problem is that life
Goes in circles and spirals
The earth spins
The earth circles the sun
The sun goes around the galaxy
So where does that leave us
We want to know what it means
We want to win the game
But what if there is no game to win
What if it’s more like a drama
A story that we are living in
What happens when we take off our masks
What will we do then
Do you remember who you really are
Who you are without you mask
Who do you see when you look
Look in a mirror that sees thru masks
Is that not the face of spirit
Looking back at you
From the depth of your eyes
The depth of your soul
Or are you still playing in the drama
The story of just you and I
The story of the ordinary world
Where dreams and visions have no meaning
Where poetry and art are just another hobby

Yamabuki
April 2010

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