Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Wonderful World.16

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.


Snow is falling --
a mid-April joke
not meant to do real harm --
just a jest,
a parody of the pollen
that will soon sneeze up the air.

Bright green grass grins
through the dusting of snow.
Magnolia blooms chuckle
under caps of white.
Daffodils sigh,
sorry to be gone so soon.

Muffler and mittens snicker
at shivering shorts-wearing Springsters.
Forsythia half-heartedly bloomed
only just last week.
Everyone knows her punchline is
one more snow.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Yeah, I know. That poem has exactly nothing to do with the Panama Canal. But it's the poem I wanted to write, and it's the poem I wrote, and there aren't enough hours in the day to write another.

Yesterday I didn't get Carol's poem in two voices for the Itaipu Dam linked in, nor Kevin's flowchart poem for the Delta Works. Be sure you check them out. Both are amazing in their own unique ways.

Carol's poem for the Delta Works is here, and Kevin's Panama Canal poem is here.


  1. It's interesting because reading your poem, even though it is off-kilter from the topic, is fascinating because it had me thinking: what was she thinking as she wrote this even though Panama Canal was on her mind? It's like giving a poem a title that has nothing do with the poem, and asking readers to find the connections. Even if, as you write, there are no connections ... I searched for them.

    Anyhow, here is my ee cummings-inspired poem today:


  2. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Mary Lee, I liked the April Fool'sness of this poem with a title that doesn't match the content. And I completely understand when you write one poem when another poem was to be written.

  3. “On Building the Panama Canal”
    (or parenting, or probably a lot of other things)

    When I started this journey
    it seemed
    as if the trip
    would be relatively easy

    I envisioned
    hard sweat
    followed by
    triumphant breakthroughs
    cheering crowds
    congratulatory celebrations.

    I did not realize
    the jungles would be so thick
    the swamps so deep and strong sucking
    Bubonic-ridden rats
    so very large and fearless

    When I started this journey
    And I did not know there would be so much decay
    That machines that once seemed impervious
    could be reduced to rusty flakes
    in a matter of months
    I did not realize there would be so much
    malaria of body

    When I started this journey
    I did not realize
    people would come and go
    so quickly.
    I did not know friendship was so cheap
    or compromise so expensive.
    I did not know souls
    could be bought for a dime or a quarter

    When I started this journey,
    I did not realize there would be
    So much sailing bravely forward
    followed by waiting endless hours
    for water
    controlled by others
    to rise.

    And I did not realize times of ascent
    and smooth sailing
    would be so quickly followed
    by times of descent.
    That I would so often find myself in deep water,
    or with my head under water
    that so much water
    would need to go
    under the bridge

    When I started this journey
    it seemed
    as if the trip
    would be relatively easy

    (c) Carol Wilcox, 2014

  4. Anonymous8:29 AM

    Love your poem and especially this "Muffler and mittens snicker at shivering shorts-wearing Springsters."

    Also the whole notion of a "prank" that is a great frame for April weather foolery!


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