Pandemonium at the Symposium

Warm water slows the swirl of words
and so I sidle towards the kitchen sink
offering to wash the dishes pro bono.
Other poets, faster on their feet, already
are gathered there, shirtsleeves rolled up,
mumbling provisional lines to themselves,
gazing vacantly at the verdant landscape
beyond the window while they finger
the glassware and polish the utensils.

The topic of this year’s symposium,
Neither Rhyme nor Reason, kindles
heated debate amongst the attendees,
many of whom abhor the brash impulse
to ignore good rules for the sake of flow.
The discussion lacks parity along race
or gender lines, as it is bearded whites
who surge to the fore, quoting the bard
or citing critics who lived a long time ago.

The stove pan left the dishwater so filthy
that I saw not the knife which I clutched,
serrated edge as sharp as a razor blade.
Cries of concern override the speaker
but the search for a bandaid brings energy
to the occasion, and someone jokes about
haiku written in blood, just a noir scrawl
to one unfamiliar with Tokugawa Nippon.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.