One of my favorite poems is “Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House” by Billy Collins.
If you don’t know it, I’ll share a little here, but click the link and read the whole thing:
|The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.
The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
I love it because it’s funny, and true and because I have totally had this experience, though maybe not with Beethoven.
What’s driving you nuts today? What has been nagging at you, irritating you, keeping you from being able to focus like a dog barking outside your window?
For me, it’s my ridiculously messy office.
I hope I can make time to work on it again soon, but for now it’s excellent poem fodder.
Here’s what I came up with:
in my office
is like working
in the wake
of a toddler
left alone all day
to play indoors.
Papers are stacked
upon yesterday’s lunch napkin
upon outgrown clothes
upon paper scraps
upon uncashed checks
upon my soul,
weighed down by so much.
And yet I must work
even through the piles.
I don’t know if it will help me to have expressed my frustrations in words, but it at least temporarily made me feel better. All that mess is art now! (Ha.)
If you try this challenge I’d love to know what you wrote about, or feel free to share your poem in the comments.