Poem: Clutter


Milky bottles in galvanized tubs catch the morning light.
A washboard sits to the side.
Wrinkled magazines piled under the table.
A tattered flag hangs from the ceiling.

In the corner there is a battered Victrola
with mismatched china piled high.
A chandelier drops wobbly jawed,
the missing crystals littering the floor.

A horse collar with faded leather hangs on the wall
over pots, pans and an enameled colander.
A little too much for the eye to take in,
too much to find the treasure you seek,

not unlike your own head,
a spinning collection of thoughts.
few of which you actually need.
“Start Anywhere” the sign on the back wall says.

And you do. One by one,
tossing away, sometimes tearing asunder,
to reclaim your room, your mind,
and make it once again, a place of peace.

About this poem.

I just finished a whirlwind of a road trip. Down to western Virginia to have dinner with my niece and her new family, across the state to have dinner with my daughter and her beau. Back to Vermont. 13 hours driving for two dinners. Some would call it insanity, but it’s kinda what I do. The hours in the car are a zen time for me, a time everything gets put in its place and the garbage is jettisoned.

It’s almost as good as the beach in the fall.

I have a magnet on my fridge that says “Start Anywhere.” It is one of my mantras.

The picture is of an antique store in Cambridge, NY. You’ll never find what you want there, but you’ll always find something.

From all that, this poem.



  1. Solo driving some distance always puts me in a zen-like state. More zoned-in than zoned-out … just wide open to thoughts, memories long stuffed down out of the way … rising into the safe space of a rolling bubble. I’m sure vehicle/road vibrations contribute, but I give credit to the uninterruptible privacy combined with NO WAY to tend to chores right now!

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