Okay, this is a bit ‘out there’. Is it a poem?

I’m usually knotted up with concepts of rhyme and meter, and I have very little knowledge of either. I’ve been reading some ‘free verse’ poetry over the last couple of days.

I wrote a review response to a poem, and wondered if it could actually become a poem in itself. It set me thinking… Here is the result of my impulse to try out that theory.


Initially, I see that moment when words are swords, and smiles, a forced facade… brittle.
The parry of politeness stems from ‘being civilized about us’.
Things ended badly, but we’re big enough to forgive, if not forget.
For one, the smiles are the ‘I know I can still hurt you’ calibre of weaponry.
The other, mind reeling, seeing too much, pretends their armor is ‘up to the job’.

I look around the coffee shop, my eyes needing refuge from your image.
The interior hums with those acting out and acting up.
The pulled shirt collars, men constrained in tongue-tied splendor — I love that image, that truth…
that a suit is a chosen projection, but the unconscious gestures,
those stemming from ‘pretending the suit is comfortable’, tell us the wearer’s secrets.
Clothes can’t hide who we are… can’t make us who we want to be, either.
‘Comfortable in our skin’ is never clearer than when we are not.

The coffee shop ordeal becomes an aromatic Hell as nostalgia unfurls,
creating a fabric woven in ragged regret and hope.
The subtle shift, from a battleground revisited, from where casualties walked away,
to ‘the moment was never right to be all we could have been’…
but, at least, that leaves us with the dreams of possibilities still intact,
even though those hot tendrils of thought evaporate in the rarified atmosphere of trepidation.
Not risking, not pushing that boundary anew, leaves us suspended in a sense of wistful desire,
Bittersweet and unchallenged.

Okay… my rambling thoughts are over… the interesting thing?
If I met you for coffee this time tomorrow, will I gain the same impressions?
There’s the thing, you can never recapture that ‘first see’ experience,
I hadn’t seen your face for years, and now, the moment carves another mark in the rock of us.
And you, you will see it all so differently.
But, I will never know.