Thoughts of Preoccupation

by julie swanson

lemon lime1While looking for something in the attic the other day, I found this poem I wrote in high school (below). At the time I thought it was so deep. Looking at it now, I have to smile. Of course green isn’t the only difference between lemon and lime. And the bit about shadows, and the last line, eesh.

Yet there are some things in this poem I did seriously wonder about, still do sometimes: space, the concept of forever, waves, wind, spider webs, the poor worm. The thing I appreciate the most about this poem, however, is that I see in it the freedom I felt writing within the form of poetry. Or should I say non-form. Because it seemed that in a poem, anything could go. I marvel that I could arbitrarily decide to capitalize certain words, use random and inconsistent punctuation, be a little silly, foolish, hokey, write a rambling little poem and love it. I can’t do that anymore, which makes me envious of the me back then. But it’s not exactly true that I can’t, I know–it’s more that I don’t let myself. Off to write something just because I want to, any way I want to. Something ‘whimsical’ or ‘fanciful,’ as my very straight-laced English teacher used to say critically of my writing. But, oh, I had fun writing it!

                      Thoughts of Preoccupation
Are we being held prisoners of Time–
Is Green the only difference between lemon and lime?
Who’s to say that space has no end,
if ‘ever’ and ‘never’ are impossible to comprehend?
Where do waves begin–
How many webs can one spider spin?
Could a shadow be the last bit of night,
playing hide-and-seek, …dodging the light?
When does the east become the west–
Will the wind ever stop and come to rest?
Does it hurt the worm when the hook goes through its back,
Is my mind straying, …has it gone off track?