it's a bad boy


that bad boy you love so much

hardly anyone you know seems to like him

they don’t seem to understand him

quite like you do.

he’s fun, light, and charming

he’s dark, soulful, and brooding

you know he is complex and imperfect

(and perhaps a bit full of himself, sometimes)

but your time and patience only increases the reward.


he’s difficult to read, your boy

perhaps that’s why he’s so dusty

yellowing on the shelf

at least, that’s how they see him

always old.


but you have seen him elsewhere

with the waving grasses and the boiling sun

fresh as a sapling, or a newborn foal, delighted

in the lazy spin of creation

always new.


even in a crowd, he jumps to your eye

in the bright red coat

or in the dingy wind’s rustle

the endless streams of humanity



getting him on paper alive, that is the trick—

he doesn’t seem to like ink

at its touch he shudders and withers.

it takes all your coaxing

but after a long while, there, on the white page

he at last appears, if you are lucky

both of you panting from the effort

a struggle that has lasted for eons, and will last

so long as there are humans, silly creatures

who yearn to capture the soul of meaning

brooding and bright

cheery and soulful

as misunderstood as the bad boy down the road—

the bad boy and his faithful companion

poetry and its poets.


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