Amanda Earl

PIYP 2017 header

“Ars Poetica 3” by Amanda Earl
from the 2017 Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet

A poem, not all poems, but some poems, or maybe just this

poem is uncertain, it falters. A poem crawls on its belly out

of shadow, but avoids full on sunshine. A poem is made

from ashes, nightmare, solitude, erasure, the unknown. It

names itself or it doesn’t. A poem cannot fully articulate or

understand the pattern of synapses made by the brain. A

poem is a long sentence or a line or a group of lines or a

school of images, a fish that swims through uncertain

waters. A poem overflows with metaphor or doesn’t. You

can write a poem. You’re allowed to write a poem because

you are. There is no reason. A poem is something in your

own voice. You don’t even have to call it a poem. It

belongs to Poetry or it doesn’t. A poem is concrete or it

isn’t. It uses abstraction or plays with cliché or doesn’t. It

negotiates white space on a page and navigates the air. It is

a linguistic gymnast or it’s clumsy, it stumbles, it is a blind

fumbler in a sky empty of stars. A poem is a way to

communicate with others in a language that comes from a

deep place inside you. A poem is made of words that are

mined like precious stones or unearthed like buried

treasure. A poem is pain gently exposed to the dawn, it

paints the sky red. It is brave of you to write a poem. To

share it with others. Somewhere someone is reading your

poem right now and understands just how you feel.