Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 1 , July 2015


Not getting things done

Jeff Rich

  They are evasive—those things 
  That will not be done. 
  Like lifting a hero’s burden,  
  Unravelling mysteries, 
  Forgetting about money, or 
  Making sense of your super. 
  They slide from your grasp 
  Like an eel to be cut. 
  Politics freed from corruption. 
  Emotions made into intelligence. 
  Power’s maze escaped. 
  A mentor’s influence overcome. 
  Secure from lifehackers— 
  they slow you down like a virus in your boot sector. 
  They pile in corners, messed up, with no priorities, 
  But asking you each day to return to their call. 
  When, after all, will you get around 
  To relinquishing your youthful strength, 
  Saying, at last, comfort is attained, 
  Settling on the meaning of your dreams? 
  You know you want to spurn productivity, 
  Refuse luxury, and tarnish beauty’s sheen, 
  But these undone duties 
  Make their way to daily lists, 
  Debts demanding payment, 
  At the bottom of the diary’s page. 
  Heartache unmended, dreams undiscovered 
  Quests unheeded, pain undressed. 
  As the day proceeds more futility is added 
  to the list for ticking off; 
  In meticulous notebooks they wait, 
  Expecting never to be. 
  Whole careers, projects without plans, 
  Journeys of recovery and feats of weakness 
  Pile like chaos in the attic 
  Awaiting defeat 
  By distraction and habit and boredom and chance: 
  Four deadly horsemen more real than the rest.