Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Found Wanting (Poem)

Found Wanting

You don't have a contingency
      plan, nothing remotely like a blueprint

for going deeper into the mines,
      not a single notion of how to shut

the trap door against the invasion
      of doubts strung taut on a line. Too many

suddenly loud voices run parallel arguments
      to go, to stay, to run, to hide, to just sit tight.

I fall flat.

I don't have a substitute, no one
      stand-in to dance me around

and through the twists of words meant
      to shore up the meanings intended,

to pick through fragments, snippets,
      jottings of foreign spellings still needing

translation to give a clever story an ending
      faithful to the vow of happily ever after.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

I offer this poem for the One Shot Wednesday event at One Stop Poetry, which each week invites poets to share, read, and comment on each other's work. Be sure to visit the site late Tuesday afternoon and every Wednesday for links to the many contributors' poems.


Glynn said...

The story of doubt, the story of things not going as planned, and told well. Good poem, Maureen.

Louise Gallagher said...

This is awesome Maureen -- thanks for putting my thinking at times into such powerful words!

S. Etole said...

This is a favorite!

Joyceann Wycoff said...

" ... the invasion of doubts strung taut on a line ..."
how beautifully said. If we just cut the line with a sharp knife, would all those doubts just fall to the ground and melt away? hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

i didn't start with a plan in the first place.
i'm really screwed up, because the expectations
emerge anyway.

Beachanny said...

I think this is everywoman's song, but more expertly unfolded than any other woman could. It expresses those frustrations with those we live with and love when there seem to be formidable barriers to getting from the point we started to the one we expected to go. Excellent work as always, Maureen. Thank you,

Anthony Desmond said...

it's sometimes better when things don't go as planned... very well written poem.

robkistner said...

interesting that we both focused on "words" as the subject of our recent poems -- and I really am taken by your perspective here.

"...words meant to shore up the meanings intended" love this reflection on the challenges of communication...

Nice piece Maureen. :)

Elizabeth Young said...

Hi Maureen, I admit that I find your poetry so deep I am not always sure how to interpret it, but love this poem. I love the image of 'doubts strung taut on a line,' and think that many couples go through difficulties such as those mentioned here in one form or another. Many thanks, Elizabeth.

moondustwriter said...

too true for the author and the person living the book of life

always telling Maureen and so dead center

moonie hugs

Joe Hesch said...

My first visit, Maureen, and I enjoyed the experience of reading this poem. One part in particular stuck with me. When confronted by all those options of activity in response to the doubts described, the speaker falls flat. I don't believe that means giving up, but it's such a common reaction so interestingly expressed. Thanks for allowing me to read this thoughtful piece.

violet said...

I like your use of enjambment, especially "...contingency / plan..." and "...shut // the trap door..." Often I find spilling lines onto the next feels staged, but here it adds tension, not to speak of an extra emphasis on certain words.

And I hope the clever story does end faithful to the vow of ever after for the "I" in the poem. We all want a happy ending -- whether for ourselves or someone else.

Shashi said...

Dear Maureen

I liked it a lot... and your words like
'I dont have a substitute, no one
Stand-in to dance me around'
I could relate to this verse a lot,......

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

Nadira Cotticollan said...

They prick like nettles
On the way
Doubts and dilemmas
Do I move or stay?

But yonder there
Beyond the bend
Is an open sky
And a waiting friend

So I gently pick out
The hurting thorns
Ignore the bruises
And carry on. :-)

(Just back from a trek. Couldn't help myself):-) Glad I found this meadow in my strollings.

C Rose said...

lovely composed piece ~ Rose

hedgewitch said...

Excellent skewering of that sense of being at a loss, bereft of guidance in a place where one felt secure, that life and relationship so often bring us. And as I've said before,I always enjoy it when you employ your couplet style of verse structure as well.

Anonymous said...

I really like the last line....nice piece.

Anna said...

I read this several times, immensely enjoyed it. I sense the longing due to the lack of the contingency plan and the substitute. Excellent poem.

Ann Grenier said...

Wonderful poem. The reader can substitue her own sense of doubt and hear conflicting advice about personal problem situations --- recognize herself in your words.