Thursday, June 09, 2016

Poetry Friday: The Bright Side

Photo via Unsplash


by Ronald Wallace

Some days I find myself
putting my foot in
the same stream twice;
leading a horse to water
and making him drink.
I have a clue.
I can see the forest
for the trees.

All around me people
are making silk purses
out of sows’ ears,
getting blood from turnips,
building Rome in a day.
There’s a business
like show business.
There’s something new
under the sun.

Some days misery
no longer loves company;
it puts itself out of its.
There’s rest for the weary.
There’s turning back.
There are guarantees.
I can be serious.
I can mean that.
You can quite
put your finger on it.

Some days I know
I am long for this world.
I can go home again.
And when I go
I can
take it with me.

This poem, shared a few weeks ago on The Writer's Almanac, cracks me up. Ronald Wallace turns all of these common sayings upside down and inside out, changing them from negative to positive.

It's all in how you look at the world, isn't it? Change your lens, change the world.

Now do me a favor and go back to the title and the first line. Do you know which saying he flipped? I'm thinking "occur" was originally "happens." And are you thinking what I'm thinking about the word he changed into "blessings?"

Cracks. Me. Up. Every time.

Carol V. has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Beyond LiteracyLink. Join Carol in her spring garden to celebrate the vibrancy of poetry.

There are TWO slots left in the July-December Poetry Friday Roundup Host schedule. Check it out here if you want to host the weekly poetry party!


  1. Now this poem is a hoot. I have already read it three times! Thanks for all of the help you gave me to get ready for the poetry party at my blog.

  2. Anonymous10:45 PM

    What a word with play! Although - blood from a turnip? What about the poor neglected stone? ;) #newtome

    1. Love it. And it took me a moment to figure out what you meant about the title, but then I laughed out loud.

  3. What a fun, fun poem! I'm so glad you pointed out the word play with the title. I didn't catch it at all! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great photo, great poem, and yes, **it does!

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Mary Lee! I love it, especially "it puts itself out of its."

    1. I loved that line, too, Tabatha!

  6. Always look for the bright side!

  7. Such a clever uplifting poem. Needed to smile today. Thanks!!

  8. I love it! I was just about to post the same favorite line Tabatha mentioned. :-)

  9. It certainly lets your imagination run wild. I loved the imagery and positive tone. "getting blood from turnips," jumped out at me. I liked the last verse.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I now understand what you meant about a change in perspective! This poem is very clever, and it also! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. This is Colette, by the way....!!! Teachcmb56

  11. This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing, and for the laugh. I love the whole thing, but that second stanza is my very favorite. Its first half reminds me of the people around the world I see living in what we would consider horrible conditions, but who are making happy lives out of so little.

  12. What a wonderful poem, Mary Lee. I remember that one from W.A. and, in fact, saved it in my List o'Poems that I Want to Keep. The humor reminds me of yours. :)

    Yes. I read the first two words the same way you do. The word occur is perfect, as is the big ... pause .... between the two words. The distance between the two helps the meaning sneak up and tickle.

  13. What a profound poem! Love it!

  14. Oh Mary Lee, you are naughty, putting ideas in our heads about that title/first line (Ha!). It is such clever--and positive--poem.

  15. Hee-hee, much need perspective adjustment and humor, Mary Lee. Thanks! =)


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