Monday, April 18, 2011

David L. Harrison - Chess

David L. Harrison

My wife says my office is a mess,
It’s time to clear the clutter off the floor.
I guess she has a point more or less,

My office might be tidier I confess.
I encourage her to shut the door.
My wife says my office is a mess.

Everything is out that I possess
And she’s convinced I keep adding more.
I guess she has a point more or less.

I regret my office causes stress.
I brought this pile of boxes from the store.
My wife says my office is a mess.

Was I going to tidy up? Yes.
I did try but cleaning’s such a bore.
I guess she has a point more or less.

So suddenly I’m under great duress.
She’s in a mood I think I’ll not ignore.
My wife says my office is a mess.
I guess she has a point more or less.

© 2011 David L. Harrison. All rights reserved.

I love the imagination David L. Harrison shows in this poem, coming up with a situation so far from reality - I mean what adult or child ever would create a mess and NOT clean it up? Or ignore, even temporarily, a request to clean up? As if! - and making it seem so of-this-world. Add in the fact that he creates this utter fantasy of a "messy office." Such a thing was unheard of to me, and yet, thanks to this poem, I can now imagine it. I think a child could imagine themselves in such a predicament, too, assuming they know what a "mess" is to begin with.

I would note that the fact that he chose to write this as a villanelle is further testament to the poet's skill. Thankfully, the villanelle's a real (if incredibly challenging) form, unlike his made-up "messy office" subject matter. By the way, David L. Harrison's blog is a fantastic read, full of poetry, writing tips, business information, and so much more. I love reading it and his poetry, and, just like last time, I'm thrilled to have him here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we ended the day with Caterpillar by Ann Whitford Paul. Tomorrow starts off with "I am God" by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. For more information on 30 Poets/30 Days and how to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

Hah! The villanelle form so lends itself to recurring thoughts, such as "gee, I should probably clean." Unfortunately, it can't actually make you vacuum...

Anonymous said...

I've never seen this form before, I like it. My desk was a complete mess, until I threw half the papers in recycling :)

Jane Heitman Healy said...

The villanelle is exceptionally challenging, and David has used it well. David, my office looks a lot like yours, but my spouse does not complain because he's even messier!

David Harrison said...

Dear Tanita, Catherine, and Jane,

Thank you for leaving your comments today. I'm happy that you enjoyed the poem. It's a fun form but a challenging one. I do think it lends itself to humor.

All best,


Anonymous said...

end with
...less or more.

David Harrison said...

Thanks, Merrill,

That would work well except that the villanelle requires that the first and third lines of the first tercet also be the last two lines of the concluding quatrain.


Amanda Hoving said...

I really enjoyed this. Fun (and, yes, challenging I'm sure.) It also makes me feel like it's time for some spring cleaning in here. My stack of papers runneth over.

David Harrison said...


Some themes are universal. This one catches many of us.

Get busy!


David Harrison said...


My thanks again for your wonderful work on behalf of poets and their poetry. It's a pleasure to be part of it!