You aimed your insipid quill at my head,
scratching for glib metaphoric descriptions of shallow waters,
scribbling ill-conceived inaccuracies
while your bitter heart
flattered you with fairy tales of poetic skill,
piddling insults on exercise paper
with the optimistic aid of a gold-plated pen,
pretending Dylan depth
where only an inch of silt sprawled.
Have your short-shrift eyes ever stared into a clear sky,
while you pondered your dimensions,
Have you held a silvery moon in your hands,
and just for one instant, did its supreme beauty
sweep away the stench of snarling beasts,
have you reached for a penny to feed your soul,
felt it slither between your fingers,
seen it plummet to the chasm beneath your feet,
and felt yourself slide.
have you spooned tatters of fading glitter into your heart
just to keep it beating,
even as your head fought a call for six feet of crushing soil,
have you asked the question, and heard silence in reply,
and did you find your way to the next chapter
through a tangled network of collapsing tunnels.
Have you safely reached a clearing filled with spring fragrance,
and known that you were only a guest in this calm haven,
resting for the next leg of your journey.
Did you breathe deeply of the clean air,
and appreciate the fragrance of wild rose and meadowsweet,
fixing your mind on the vision of delight
while mud sucked at your feet.
If, since your last effort,
you have travelled in my vicinity,
I give you permission to write a different poem
Written for The Daily Post #Shallow
©Jane Paterson Basil