It Doesn’t Follow [poem]

{An exercise from The Ode Less Travelled, except I mostly ignored the instructions.}


I like to go down to the mall and see
the fishes walk about like birds that flock
around a ball of brilliant blue or green.
(That’s three lines down, just sixteen more to go.)
(Perhaps I fool myself and fail the task
of metered verse unrhymed, but which is worse?
or rather, knowing self, some thread must pull
the thing along or else I’ll stop, just like
before, a couple times or three (not four).)
This makes no sense, I probably should warn,
but then again, he said to spin it out
as fast as it would go, though thirty secs
seems awful short to manage sense as well
as what’s required (oh dear, I’ve broke anoth-
er rule, and that’s a third–or fourth?
They’re flying fast and angry now, and who’s
to blame them, oh my ducks and dears and fish–
and fish? Well, that’s where we began, or there-
abouts, with flocking birds and gibberish
and look! We’ve made it twenty lines, as told.

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